Lufkin addiction specialist reacts to Walmart joining opioid crisis fight

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Walmart's DisposeRXjoined the multiple other locations and products that try to keep opioids out of the hands of addicts or possible addicts Wednesday.

DisposeRX is a small packet of a crosslinking polymer blend that breaks down the medicine and leaves a harmless, gel-like substance that is safe to throw away.

Kim Bartel at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council in Lufkin approved of this move by Walmart.

"The old medication that you're not using, it's a good to dispose of it," Bartel said. "And, this offers an opportunity to dispose of it properly."

DisposeRX isn't the first to incorporate mixing to deactivate opioids. Bartel said that ADAC personally uses a product called Deterra.

"With the carbon bags, you put the medication in there, and the carbon deactivates the active ingredient," Bartel said. "And, so you can seal the bag, and it's environmentally friendly, so that can be disposed of in the landfill."

Another option for safe disposal can be found at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office. The Med Return Green Box is used for more than just your normal prescriptions. You can deposit vitamins, as well as prescriptions for your pets.

"Last year, we did over a hundred pounds through the Green Box," said Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches. "Now, that was through August. A lot of people will bring a lot of their pain type pills."

Sanches said that opioid addicts are just as likely to get into trouble as addicts of more well-known drugs.

"They get addicted to it, and it's just as bad as any of these other, meth and all the other stuff," Sanches said. "It causes people to do and make poor choices, and they get in trouble with the law."

DisposeRX will be distributed to all 4,700 of Walmart's pharmacies.

"It helps provide another avenue in which we can make a concerted effort to deal with the opioid crisis," Bartel said.

Patients with Chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will be offered a free DisposeRX every six months.

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