Broome County Announces New Overdose Prevention Pilot Program

Broome County Health & Mental Health to partner with Lourdes & UHS on Pharmacy Initiative

(BROOME COUNTY, NY)- Two Broome County coalitions are partnering with the main hospital systems in Broome County to prioritize medication safety. The Broome Opioid Awareness Council (BOAC) and Prevention Coalition of Broome County (PCBC) have partnered with Lourdes and UHS pharmacies to distribute Deterra Drug Deactivation pouches.

The Deterra Drug Deactivation System is a pouch that allows for the disposal of unused, unwanted, or expired medications easily and effectively, right at-home. Typical methods of medication disposal include household trash or disposal via the toilet or drain, but these methods result in active drugs in landfills, water systems, and soil. Pouches will be distributed with each short-term opioid prescription at Lourdes & UHS pharmacies to help Broome County residents rid their homes of unused medications with the goal of preventing future substance misuse.

“Fighting this complex public health epidemic takes a multi-faceted approach, and we are pleased to help offer our community members another way to properly dispose of prescription opioids, ultimately saving a life and helping those with substance use disorders,” stated Marissa Knapp, Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator for Broome County.    

Opioid medications, which are prescribed to help alleviate pain, have the potential to be highly addictive when misused. Nearly 80% of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin and 70% of post-surgical prescribed opioids can go unused, leaving thousands of potentially harmful medications in homes. It is critical to take opioids and all prescription medications exactly as directed, never share medications, and store prescriptions safely.

“Medication safety should be everyone’s priority” says Maria Fabrizi, Coordinator of the Prevention Coalition of Broome County. “We are thrilled that both Lourdes and UHS have partnered with us on this initiative. It’s a testament to their commitment to patient safety and the safety of our whole community. Offering these medication disposal bags has the potential to reduce a great deal of harm that medication misuse could cause.”

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Publish Date
August 22, 2022