Henderson County Campus 270-827-7700 Union County Campus: 270-389-5000

Methodist Health and Henderson County Sheriff's Department join forces to promote safe drug disposal

Methodist Health and Henderson County Sheriff's Department join forces to promote safe drug disposal

Methodist Health is partnering with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department to provide drug disposal pouches to the public as part of a unique pilot project to help combat the opioid epidemic.

Henderson County is one of four Kentucky counties (also including Floyd, McCracken and Perry Counties) participating in a Deterra® pilot project that provides a way for unused or expired prescription opioids to be disposed of in a safe, environmentally friendly manner. The program is the state's first initiative designed to allow Kentuckians to safely dispose of opioid medications at home.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an overwhelming 80 percent of heroin users begin their addiction with prescription drug abuse. The misuse of prescription drugs often starts when a person has access to an unused supply from a friend, relative or a medicine cabinet.

Each Deterra® pouch contains a water-soluble inner pod containing a proprietary form of activated carbon. Once drugs are placed in the pouch, warm water is added, which dissolves the inner pod releasing the activated carbon. Deterra® works on pills, patches and liquids, allowing them to be absorbed by the carbon, rendering them inert and non-retrievable.

Sarah Laramie, PharmD, IT Pharmacist at Methodist Health in Henderson, noted, “The pouches are available for pick up at the Pharmacy window on the ground level of the Hospital or in the Pharmacy area of the Infusion Center.

”While this program is only currently available at Methodist Health in Henderson, both the Henderson and Union County facilities have MedSafe® Medication Collection Stations in the Hospital lobbies to provide a safe, secure way for individuals to dispose of medications. The Henderson Regional Hospital Foundation (HRHF) underwrites the MedSafe® project.

The blue stainless steel collection receptacles have an inner liner that can be removed by a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approved collector when it is filled and returned for proper disposal via incineration, rendering the pharmaceuticals non-retrievable.

Laramie explained, “The new Deterra® Drug Deactivation System provides an option for those who would like to take a bag home, either to have more privacy or for convenience of not having to return to the Hospital to use the MedSafe® collection station.”

For more information, contact Laramie at 270-631-2476 or 270-827-7164, slaramie@methodisthospital.net.