Safe Streets fights opioid crisis with bags that deactivate prescription drugs

KSN News.

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – What do you do with your unused drugs? Right now, there are just two places to drop them off in Sedgwick County.

But a local group is working to change that by giving people a new way to dispose of medicine.

Safe Streets, a program of Partners for Wichita, has handed out thousands of biodegradable bags that can actually de-activate drugs placed inside.

The goal is to help more people take un-wanted medications out of the wrong hands.

Inside this Wichita church, the Safe Streets team has been busy planning to hand these pouches out to people of all ages.

“She said that her husband had passed, and she had some of his old medications in the home and she didn’t know what she should do with them,” said Jan Chandler, Safe Streets.

4,600 of the “Deterra” bags have been distributed since this summer at various community events.  They say more disposal options are important with the opioid epidemic making its mark in Kansas.

“Make people more aware there’s a problem, an upcoming problem of prescription drug misuse and like what I said earlier, we want to reduce the diversion, a drug overdose misuse and abuse and things of that sort,” said Chandler.

And hopefully, start a movement of safely tossing away prescription drugs for generations to come.

“As a mother, it’s terrifying to think that one of your children might get addicted to prescription drugs, or opioids,” said Danielle Ramirez, Safe Streets.

The group says they have hundreds of bags they plan to distribute next year. Also, they say the three-step process is easy.

“Zip it up and toss it in the trash, right there in your home,” said Chandler.

It’s really that simple what you do is take your unused medication, open the pouch, drop them into the bag, add warm water, zip it up and then throw it away.

The group says often the first misuse of prescription drugs was given by either family or friends. Because of this, they encourage people who are interested in the bags to contact them.

There are currently just two places in Wichita where you can drop off your unused prescription drugs year round.

That’s the Walgreens in the 3300 block at East Central and the Walgreens in the 500 block of North Maize Road.

If you would like some disposal bags to get rid of your medication, you can contact the Safe Streets team at 316-263-1389.

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