MINNETONKA, Minn. — The opioid epidemic has not gone away, in fact, health officials say the pandemic has only made it worse. A Minnetonka-based company is teaming up with a national non-profit in the month of October to help.
And they're hoping to solve not one problem, but two.
"Our goal is to get over a million unused pills out of people's medicine chests,” says Jason Sundby, CEO of Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc.
There are few places we can get rid of our unused drugs. So, there they sit, in our homes, where there is potential for misuse or abuse. Or they end up in a landfill, in our water supply, our lakes and rivers.
“We're really good in this country at developing drugs, selling drugs, distributing these drugs, what we haven't been good at in the past is the end of life piece of it. What do we do when those drugs are no longer needed? We can now deactivate or destroy those drugs and close the life-cycle loop on those pharmaceuticals,” says Sundby.
Deterra System, made by Verde Environmental Technologies, is an in-home drug disposal pouch with activated carbon inside. It works with just about anything, pills, patches, liquids, creams. You just add water and shake. Now it's safe to put right in the trash.
"The molecule of the drug is bound on to the surface of that carbon. That bond can't be broken, it can't be back extracted, it won't leech out in landfills, it renders the drug inert, so un-abusable, irretrievable, unrecoverable for all practical purposes,” says Sundby.
Deterra is teaming up with SAFE Project. A national non-profit working to end the addiction epidemic. The program is called "Gone for Good."
And it aims to get Deterra pouches in people's hands, for free.
“We will mail you a Deterra pouch, free of charge, and they'll get it by the end of November,” says Sundby.
Disposing of medications safely solves two problems and protects your most important possession. “
They can get rid of these drugs and safeguard their homes, safeguard their families,” Sundby says.