ADAMH and Avita Partner to Prevent Drug Misuse

BUCYRUS/GALION/CRESTLINE – The Crawford-Marion ADAMH Board and Avita Health System are working together to prevent drug misuse in Crawford County with the help of Deterra® Drug Deactivation System.

Deterra uses pouches that are activated by carbon to permanently destroy prescription and over-the-counter pills, patches, liquids, creams, and films. They are available in various sizes and each pouch can destroy dozens of pills. Medication deactivation can occur at home or in a clinical setting with these safe, eco-friendly pouches.

“Prescription drug misuse is a public health concern that crosses the lifespan,” according to ADAMH Board Executive Director Brad DeCamp. “That’s why we wanted to collaborate with Avita by sharing the pouches to make sure we’re providing another means for patients to dispose of unused medications safely.”

One of ADAMH’s priorities is prevention and DeCamp noted that disposing of unused medications is something the entire community can do to support prevention. “We know that roughly four out of five people who started using heroin in the past year had previously used prescription pain relievers non-medically. We want to do everything we can to prevent that.”

Through a grant obtained by ADAMH, hundreds of Deterra bags have been distributed throughout Crawford County, including the following Avita clinics: therapy and sports medicine, pain management, and orthopedics. Patients of these practices will have access to Deterra pouches for medication disposal at their homes. 

“I am extremely happy with the response I received from our team and their eagerness to distribute the Deterra pouches to patients,” said Brad Schwartz, Pharmacy Clinical Services Manager at Avita Health System. “Whether we are encouraging patients to get rid of the opioids they no longer use or we’re answering questions on how to dispose of any leftover medications after a surgery, our clinics are in a perfect position to help ensure access to safe drug disposal. Ohio, and the nation, has seen an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths during the last several months, so this opportunity to collaborate with the ADAMH Board could not have come at a better time.”

Safe drug disposal of leftover or unwanted medications is an effective harm-reduction practice for the community. Prescription drug misuse is highest among young adults, ages 18 to 25. Youth who use prescription drugs are more likely to smoke cigarettes, engage in heavy drinking, and use illicit drugs, including marijuana and cocaine.

Additionally, more than 80 percent of people ages 57 to 85 use at least one prescription medication daily and half take more than five daily. This increases their risk of those drugs interacting poorly with one another, as well as their risk of accidentally taking one medication too often or intentionally misusing a drug.

There are several options for community members to dispose of unwanted prescription medication in Crawford County. While the Deterra pouches are an effective new option, DeCamp and Schwartz also encourage the public to take advantage of the numerous fixed disposal sites – Avita Bucyrus Hospital, the police departments in Bucyrus, Crestline, and Galion, and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.