Harford County Fights Opioid Abuse with Innovative “Deterra Rx” Pouches for Safe Disposal of Unused Medications



Joe Ryan, manager of Harford County’s Office of Drug Control Policy, distributing Deterra Rx pouches to R. Butch Henderson, P.D., pharmacy director for Klein’s ShopRite Pharmacies of Maryland.


Harford County’s Office of Drug Control Policy, in partnership with Aberdeen Proving Ground, is helping to distribute 10,000 free Deterra Rx pouches for citizens to safely dispose of their unused prescription medications.   The pouches contain a water-soluble inner pod containing active carbon. When filled with warm water, the inner pod dissolves, the carbon is released and medication placed in the pouch is rendered inert and irretrievable. The pouches are among 100,000 Deterra Rx drug deactivation systems donated to APG in April by defense contractor Leidos for distribution statewide.  Joseph Ryan, manager of the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, recently delivered 2,500 of the pouches to Klein’s ShopRite pharmacies where they will be made available to customers free of charge.


“We know that four out of five heroin users started with the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, and the innovative Deterra Rx systems will encourage citizens to remove these medications from their homes,” said Harford County Executive Barry Glassman. “I would like to thank MG Randy Taylor of Aberdeen Proving Ground and Klein’s ShopRite for their partnership, and thank Leidos for their generosity in purchasing the pouches to help fight the opioid crisis.”


Harford County’s Office of Drug Control Policy has also distributed Deterra Rx pouches to the local Health Department, local police departments, and professionals attending local training on substance abuse issues.


Citizens who participated in Drug Take Back Day on April 28 in Bel Air also received complimentary pouches. Harford County collected a total of 1,475 pounds of unused medications that day including collection sites at the Harford County administration building in Bel Air, the Havre de Grace Police Department and the Maryland State Police Barrack D – Bel Air.


Harford County has six permanent drop-off boxes for safe disposal of drugs, no questions asked. A list of locations is available on the county website at http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/1951/Prescription-Drug-Take-Back.

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