Today is International Overdose Awareness Day.  The abuse and misuse of opioids frequently begins with prescription pills found in the home, especially the medicine cabinet. According to a national survey of U.S. adults who used opioids, nearly 6 out of 10 had or expect to have leftover opioids, according to findings published online June 13, 2016, in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. According to SAMHSA, nearly 68 percent of those who used prescription pain relievers non-medically in 2012-2013 got them from friends or relatives.  As a result, community organizations have joined forces to raise awareness and promote responsible drug disposal.
The fight against prescription drug abuse has a new weapon to prevent leftover medications from ending up in the wrong hands.  The Summit County Community Partnership has just announced a donation by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals of 40,000 drug deactivation pouches that will be distributed to senior centers, patients, parents and families in Akron and Summit County to provide a safe and responsible drug disposal method, preventing abuse and misuse of leftover prescription medication.
The drug deactivation pouches were purchased and donated by Mallinckrodt, a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company. The user-friendly, pouch-based systems deactivate prescription drugs and render chemical compounds safe for landfills. After filling the specially formulated pouch with regular tap water, it can be sealed and thrown away with the household trash.
Northeast Ohio residents can access the pouches at any Acme Fresh Market Pharmacy location, which will distribute 12,000 of the pouches, as well as consult with pharmacists about the pouches and prescription drug safety.
AUI was fortunate to serve as a community partner on the Deterra Project along with the following organizations: Acme Fresh Market Pharmacies, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Cascade Village The Community Builders, City of Akron, City of Barberton, Community Health Center, County of Summit ADM Board, Mature Services, Inc., Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Summa Health Systems, the Summit County Opiate Task Force and Summit County Public Health.
The Summit County Community Partnership donation is part of Mallinckrodt’s nationwide one-million pouch donation initiative to help combat the abuse of prescription pain medications, which is one of the top public health threats in the U.S. today.
Today there is also a Community Town Hall on WAKR 1590 am  from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. to raise awareness about our community epidemic as well as provide resources for prevention and treatment.  To learn more about the Deterra Project and for additional prevention and treatment resources you can Chris Myers at AUI or the Summit County Community Partnership.