KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced the launch of the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program on Tuesday, August 22.
This is the state's first initiative to give Kentuckians a to safely dispose of opioid medications at home. The program involves the drug deactivation pouch, Deterra, which lets you dispose of unused prescription opioids in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
The program will start with a pilot program that will provide 50,000 drug deactivation pouches in four Kentucky counties: Floyd, Henderson, McCracken and Perry. It will be included in Beshear's statewide work with Kentucky's seniors and faith-based communities.
AG Beshear said the program has the potential to dispose of more than 2.2 million unused opioids.
"For the first time, through this program, Kentuckians will be able to safely dispose of unused medications at home and protect their family, friends and neighbors from addiction," he said.
AG Beshear is working with the sheriffs in the four counties to distribute the pouches to area residents and organizations who are disposing of prescription opioids. He said his Office of Senior Protection will help distribute the pouches at its senior events at local community centers and churches.
Kentuckians will be able to place their unused medication into the pouch, fill it with warm water, wait 30 seconds, seal the pouch and shake it before disposing of it in normal trash. One pouch destroys 45 pills, six ounces of liquid or six patches.
"We have to be as creative as possible in trying to find different ways and avenues to combat the prescription drug problem we are experiencing in Kentucky," said McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden. "This is certainly a creative idea in that this could cut off a source for some people in obtaining some highly-addictive controlled substances. Our county certainly appreciates any efforts made to or presented to us in combating this problem that has in fact reached epidemic levels in parts of our state."
The attorney general's office is funding the initiative with settlement funds, and partnering with the nonprofit A Stronger Kentucky Inc., chaired by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, for the remaining funding.