INITIATIVE FOCUSES ON COMBATING A TOP PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT CAUSED BY NON-MEDICAL ABUSE OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS

LIBERTY CORNER NJ – Bedminster-based Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals isn't sitting on the sidelines in the opioid crisis.  Community in Crisis has announced it will provide 8,000 Deterra drug deactivation pouches in the Somerset and Morris County communities to encourage the safe and responsible disposal of leftover prescription pain medications. The drug deactivation pouches were purchased and donated by Mallinckrodt. 

This donation is part of the company’s 2-million pouch donation initiative to help combat the abuse of prescription pain medications, which is one of the top public health threats in the U.S. today. A national survey of U.S. adults who used opioids showed that nearly 6 out of 10 had or expect to have leftover opioids, according to findings published online June 13, 2016, in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

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The user-friendly pouch-based systems deactivate prescription drugs and render chemical compounds safe for landfills. After filling the specially formulated pouch with regular tap water, it can be sealed and thrown away with the household trash. The pouches are completely biodegradable, providing an environmentally responsible way to deactivate and dispose of drugs.

Community in Crisis recently distributed the pouches to area organizations, including the Ridge Oak Senior Housing in Basking Ridge and the VNA of Somerset Hills, which provides home health and hospice care, adult day services, caregiver assistance, and wellness programs to Morris and Somerset County residents.

Community in Crisis’ vision is to be a model community for the prevention and education of substance use disorder as well as to support individuals in recovery and their families impacted by the disease. Community in Crisis represents an ‘it takes a village’ approach to the opioid epidemic, tackling the problem at the local level by marshaling local resources. Interventions are designed to meet unique community needs and to produce sustainable environmental change.

Zina Pozner, board member of Community in Crisis, said “This donation of pouches fills a much needed gap in safe medication disposal. If individuals are finding it hard to take their unused or unwanted medications to the local police department, or are basically physically unable, the pouches provide safe disposal at any location, in homes, hospital rooms, assisted living facilities, and so on. This partnership with our new neighbor, Mallinckrodt, is a perfect collaboration in reducing dangerous supplies of potentially harmful substances in our community. We’re very grateful to them for supporting our goals.”

The initiative reinforces Mallinckrodt's long-standing commitment to the safe and responsible use of medications and collaboration with community leaders who share its goal of building public awareness of the critical role of responsible drug disposal in the fight against prescription drug abuse.

“As a company focused on the health and well-being of our patients and communities, Mallinckrodt has long been a strong advocate of addressing the complex issues of opioid misuse and abuse that cause so much harm to families,“ said Mark Trudeau, Mallinckrodt President and Chief Executive Officer.We share the concerns of parents across the nation, and believe that providing patients with a safe, environmentally responsible way to dispose of unused medications is critical in this fight against prescription drug abuse. Mallinckrodt is committed to working with policy makers, community leaders, law enforcement and industry partners to ensure the responsible use of pain medication and prevent unused medications from ending up in the wrong hands.”

Bonnie Kelly, Executive Director at Ridge Oak added, “The convenience of the pouches will be huge for many of our residents who don’t drive or who don’t get around and about much. It’s also a good awareness and education tool. This disease has impacted families of some of our residents and the more we can achieve together as a community, the better.”