Hunterdon Healthcare Receives 5,000 Drug Deactivation Pouches from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Pictured from left to right: Donald Pinner, Senior Vice President Community Health Improvement Chief Operating Officer, Hunterdon Regional Community Health, Michael Williams, First Assistant Prosecutor for Hunterdon County, Assemblyman Roy Freiman, District 16, Senator Kip Bateman, District 16, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, District 16, Julian Malasi, Director of Government Affairs & Advocacy Relations, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, High Bridge Chief of Police, Brett Bartman and Joseph Greco, chief of Police, Readington Township.
Hunterdon Healthcare today announced a donation of 5,000 drug deactivation pouches from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals to support the safe disposal of unused prescription drugs. The drug deactivation pouches were donated as part of Mallinckrodt’s nationwide approach to address the complex issues of prescription drug abuse.
These drug deactivation pouches can safely destroy unused medications, especially opioids, providing protection to county residents, their pets and to our environment.
“Hunterdon County has medication drop-off boxes located throughout our county for drug disposal, however they do not accommodate liquid medications such as liquid morphine sometimes used for hospice patients,” explained Donald Pinner, FACHE, Senior Vice President of Community Health Improvement and Chief Operating Officer, Hunterdon Regional Community Health.
“Current options to remove liquid medications from the home include throwing unused medication in the trash in coffee grounds and some still flush unused medication down the toilet allowing them to potentially enter our water supply. Sometimes getting to the drug disposal boxes can be a challenge for family members. These drug deactivation packets offer the opportunity to destroy all types of unused opioids, pills, patches and liquids safely in the home.”
The user-friendly pouch deactivates prescription drugs and renders contents safe for landfills. After filling the specially formulated pouch with regular tap water, it can be sealed and thrown away with the household trash.
“Hunterdon Healthcare is looking forward to collaborating with our community partners, especially law enforcement,” stated Mr. Pinner. “Together we can have a huge impact on the health and safety of our community.”
The abuse of opioids and prescription painkillers often starts in the home. Approximately 68% of those who used prescription pain relievers inappropriately in 2012-2013 got them from family or relatives, according to the 2013 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
“As a company focused on the health and well-being of our patients and communities, Mallinckrodt has long been a strong advocate of addressing the complex issues of opioid misuse and abuse that cause so much harm in New Jersey,” said Mark Trudeau, Mallinckrodt President and Chief Executive Officer.
“We share the concerns of people across the nation, and believe that providing patients with a safe, environmentally responsible way to dispose of unused medications is critical in this fight against prescription drug abuse. Mallinckrodt is committed to working with policy makers, community leaders, law enforcement and industry partners to ensure the responsible use of pain medication and prevent unused medications from ending up in the wrong hands.”
Hunterdon Healthcare will be working on a plan to distribute and share the supply of pouches with local organizations, law enforcement and the community. For more information on Hunterdon Healthcare, visit www.hunterdonhealthcare.org.
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