A new prescription drug disposal initiative comes to the First State
Lt. Gov Bethany Hall Long joined NFL Hall of Famer Randy White to announce a new initiative to prevent opioid abuse in the state.
Aimed at curbing opioid abuse, DisposeRx is a tool that can help safely dispose of prescription medicine. It is a small packet of powder that, when added to a bottle of pills with water and shaken, turns unused pills into a gel that can be thrown away.
This helps eliminate the possibility someone uses prescription medicine when it is no longer needed, or taking it when it was not prescribed to them.
Randy White lost his son-in law to an opioid overdose when he was offered a pain pill not prescribed to him. It turned out to be a fake pill laced with fentanyl. White now acts as a father to his two young grandchildren.
“He didn’t know anything about these fake pills that look just like the real thing, He took one, it killed him," said White. "Now, instead of being Paw-Paw, I’m Paw-Paw and Dad.”
He says sharing his personal story is a way to show people the dangers of abusing prescription medicine.
“The more people you can get in front of and the more people who can hear that story… They can get more educated and realize how severe of an issue this really is. Until it affects you personally some people won’t get it. And we don’t want it to get to that. We want to get it before it gets there,” said White.
In the state of Delaware, it is estimated that 92% of people do not use their full opioid prescriptions, and less than 9% of them properly dispose of the leftovers.
Meanwhile, 70% of Delaware teens report acquiring prescription drugs from their own homes.
Hall Long says the packets will be available statewide to anyone in need, but the initial distribution is targeted.
“We’re starting with young adults and parents because parents often control the medicine cabinet. Children often go to their parents' bar, or their medicine cabinet, and it’s just something parents need to be aware of,” Hall Long explained.
The initial 7,000 kit distribution of DisposeRx will be aimed at parents and young adults, but the state aims to distribute 30,000-50,000 kits this year statewide.
Funding for this initiative is collaborative. The first set of kits were purchased by the Department of Education, but federal funding, and funding from private and public partnerships, will be used to obtain and distribute more kits in the future.