SPOKANE, Wash. -- Safely disposing of prescription drugs is not as simple as throwing them in the trash.
They can end up in landfill and effect animals and contaminate water. Walmart pharmacies around the country are releasing a new solution, for free, to help people at home protect themselves and their families.
Walmart pharmacies will be the first in the nation to roll out DisposeRx. It is a powder solution you can add to a pill bottle, mix with water, and form a solid that prevents the drugs from being easily accessed. One of the only other ways to dispose of drugs is by dropping them off at drug disposal sites.
"If you actually had it in your house and you could throw it into the garbage, we're much more likely to have people actually do that and get it out of circulation," Washington State University Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Julie Akers said.
The pouches will be available for free to anyone who is picking up an opioid prescription at their pharmacy and if you are already a pharmacy patient, you can pick up a pouch for free anytime. While it will not stop the epidemic of abuse, it will at least decrease the likelihood of your leftover medication getting into the wrong hands.
"You have to think about where do you store your medication in your home and who else could potentially have access to those medications. It puts you more at risk for a home robbery if people are aware and sometimes they're just going house to house looking for opioids in your cabinets," Akers said.
The packets will be available at all 4,700 Walmart pharmacies, including here in Spokane. Many stores around the area rolling the product out Saturday on their Walmart Wellness Day.