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Broome County To Provide Free Drug Deactivation Pouches To Residents

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

In an effort to prevent opioid overdoses, Broome County is providing drug deactivation pouches for free to community members. 

At a press conference on Friday, County Executive Jason Garnar and Broome's Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordination Marissa Knapp demonstrated how the Deterra Drug Deactivation Systems work. The system is a plastic pouch. You pour in the pills, patches, or cream and fill the pouch halfway with warm water. After waiting thirty seconds, you shake the pouch, activating some chemicals inside that break down the pills and deactivate them. The pouch can then be disposed of in a trashcan with no danger to people or the environment. 

Knapp says research has shown 3 out of 4 persons who use heroin got started by first using a prescription opioid that was still sitting around in a home.

"Often they will just hold on to them and keep them and we know that people who have a substance abuse disorder or even youth or even just anyone who may be in someone's home might experiment and seek out those prescription drugs," says Knapp.

While the county has several prescription drop box locations and hosts take back events, Knapp says some people may be more likely to use the pouches, allowing them to dispose of opioids safely at home. 

Knapp says the Deterra pouches will be available to the public in the next few weeks. The Health Department is reaching out to different community organizations to help distribute them.