Deactivation pouches allow citizens to safely dispose of unused medications at home
POWDERLY, KY. (Aug. 21, 2018) – Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today that Muhlenberg County is the latest community to partner with his office’s Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program to provide families the tools to carefully dispose of unused medications at home.
Beshear said his office is providing the drug deactivation pouches across the state to help communities eliminate more than 2.2 million opioids and help reduce the nearly 80 percent of heroin users who begin their addiction with prescription drugs.
“Our drug epidemic is the challenge of our times. It is killing our youth and devastating our communities,” Beshear said. “Through our Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program there is hope. Cleaning out medicine cabinets will help slow the rate of addiction and that could save my child and yours.”
Beshear, joined by local officials and partners, delivered 400 safe drug deactivation pouches for use in the community. The effort, Beshear said, in Muhlenberg County has the potential to dispose of more than 18,000 unused opioids.
Participating in Tuesday’s community event with Beshear were Jan Yonts, mayor, City of Greenville; Vicki Yonts, president, Champions for a Drug Free Muhlenberg County; and Terry Nunley, assistant director, Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force.
Mayor Yonts said, “Muhlenberg County is so grateful for Attorney General Andy Beshear's passion to eradicate opioid addiction in Kentucky and specifically in Muhlenberg County with the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program. With the help of Champions and the citizens of Muhlenberg County participating in this program we are implementing real solutions to fight this epidemic.”
“The opioid epidemic is an ongoing issue in Muhlenberg County,” said Chairperson Yonts. “By addressing the problem and using a wide range of strategies, like the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program, we will hopefully see a decrease in opioid use in the near future.”
Assistant Director Nunley said, “I have served in law enforcement for 24 years and the majority of those years have been spent enforcing drug laws. I have seen the opioid epidemic take its toll on all of our surrounding communities. We need to stand together and do everything in our power to fight this epidemic that is claiming the lives of our youth and adults.”
In August 2017, Beshear launched the program, as the state’s first initiative encouraging Kentuckians to safely dispose of opioid medications at home.
Since announcing the program, Beshear has worked with local officials from Mayfield to Louisville who are interested in helping citizens clean out medicine cabinets and create safer communities.
In March, Beshear joined CVS Health to launch safe, in-store medication disposal units in nine 24-hour CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the state.
Beshear has made it his core mission to combat the state’s opioid epidemic and to date he has filed suit against seven opioid manufactures and distributors for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic.
As the lawsuits progress, Beshear said his main priority is to make sure these drug companies are hauled into a Kentucky court and held accountable to those they have harmed – the people of Kentucky.