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Broome County offers new drug deactivation system to continue fighting opioid epidemic

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Deterra Drug Deactivation System

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Broome County is trying out the Deterra Drug Deactivation System to continue the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator at the Broome County Health Department, Marissa Knapp explained, "It completely, not only gets rid of the medication, but it also deactivates it so it's no longer available for use."

The company says the product will work on any organic medications including opioids.

To use it, Knapp explains you open the bag, pour your medication inside, add warm water, close the bag, shake it and throw it away.

She said different sized bags can handle pills, patches, liquids and creams.

"There's an activated carbon inside and because of that and the other compounds in there when the medication mixes with the water it completely breaks it down," said Knapp.

She said when medications are properly placed in the system, they can no longer impair you.

The purpose of the program Knapp said is to get rid of drugs before they're abused.

"About 70 percent of medications used for a surgical procedure, specifically opioids, end up going unused all the way and so they end up in someone's home in a medicine cabinet where either someone with a substance use disorder can seek them out or a youth or someone who just wants to experiment."

Knapp said the program is safe for the environment, whereas other practiced disposal methods like flushing medications down the toilet or putting them in the trash, are not.

"It just is a great way to take care of something that could happen to be a problem in the future."

The county said the program costs $10,000, allotted in the Broome County budget.

About 2,000 pouches will be available starting in February at different locations around the county.

Julia Gorman

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