Hospital Pharmacy Will Now Offer Medication Disposal Kits

Hospital Pharmacy Will Now Offer Medication Disposal Kits
Deborah Smullen, events coordinator for Worcester Goes Purple, and Jeff Kukel, pharmacy manager at AGH, are pictured with the Deterra Drug Deactivation pouch. Submitted Photo

BERLIN Atlantic General Hospital will begin distributing the Deterra Drug Deactivation System with all opioid prescriptions. The medication disposal kits are part of the Worcester Goes Purple campaign’s efforts to bring awareness to substance abuse and will be given out free of charge.

The Deterra Drug Deactivation Systems were generously donated by RALI of Maryland, an alliance of more than a dozen local, state and national organizations committed to finding solutions to end the opioid crisis in Maryland.

Each drug deactivation pouch contains water-soluble pods containing MAT12 Activated Carbon, which when mixed with warm water and the drugs, dissolves. The pills, patches and liquids in the pouch absorb the pod-water mixture and are permanently deactivated. This allows the drugs to be properly disposed of, making them unavailable for misuse.

The program is the first of its type on the Eastern Shore, however Deborah Smullen, events coordinator for the Worcester Goes Purple campaign, plans to extend the program to local pharmacies.

“This partnership will be a great compliment to the drug disposal box at the Rediscripts Pharmacy at AGH. It will help Worcester County in their efforts to fight substance abuse and addiction,” said Smullen.

Jeff Kukel, pharmacy manager at AGHRx Rediscripts, explained how the majority of opioid abuse stems from the use of prescription pain killers for non-medical purposes.

“The need for expanded drug disposal solutions is overwhelming and contributes to stockpiles of unused and unwanted medications in our medicine cabinets as well as improper disposal of prescription medications. Providing our patients with another safe, free option for disposing of their unwanted opioids is critical in the fight against addiction,” said Kukel.

The collaborative community effort began on Tuesday, Sept. 10 in conjunction with the Rediscripts fifth anniversary celebration. The Rediscripts pharmacy cut a purple ribbon to signify the collaborative effort between Worcester Goes Purple and Atlantic General Hospital.