Delaware County Health Department Reminds Residents to Use Deterra Drug Deactivation Pouches

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Released: January 5, 2024

Delaware County Health Department Reminds Residents to Use Deterra Drug Deactivation Pouches

Residents reminded pouches do not expire; unused pouches can be stored indefinitely for future use

The Delaware County Health Department (DCHD) completed the mailing of over 165,000 Deterra drug deactivation pouches in late December as part of its campaign to provide County residents with a safe, quick, and convenient process for disposing of unused, unwanted, and expired medications.

The purpose of the campaign, launched with the support of Delaware County Council, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Emergency Services, has been to reduce the potential for residents—especially children and the elderly—to have easy access to medications that could be harmful.

Residents who do not have unused, unwanted, and expired medications to dispose of are urged to keep their pouches for future use. If there is no immediate need for their use in the home, please store and save them for later use. The pouches do not have an expiration date. Residents who received but do not want to keep these pouches are asked to share them with family members or neighbors who can use them.

Recipients are strongly advised not to discard these pouches until they are needed. Reminder: How to Use the Deterra Drug Deactivation Pouch

Recipients can deactivate drugs in an easy 3-step process:

  1.  Place the medication (typically up to about 45 pills) in the Deterra pouch
  2.  Add water and shake vigorously
  3.  Place the pouch in your household garbage

Note that not all residents received a pouch in December. Deterra pouches and awareness postcards were shipped to 165,289 county residential addresses in randomly chosen zip codes—approximately 70% of all residential addresses in the county. DCHD plans to mail Deterra pouches to remaining addresses this year contingent on additional opioid settlement funding being designated for this purpose.

The campaign was funded as part of Delaware County’s use of opioid settlement funds.

How the Deterra Drug Deactivation System Works

The Deterra Drug Deactivation System consists of a pouch that is filled with pills and tap water, providing a non-toxic, organic, and safe alternative for proper disposal of unused, unwanted and expired medications. In a simple 3-step process, residents deactivate drugs by putting them in the Deterra pouch, adding warm water, shaking, and then throwing them away in the household garbage.

The Deterra pouches help protect the environment by preventing pharmaceutical drugs from contaminating water supply and landfills. The Deterra pouches and awareness postcards help destigmatize substance use disorders, reminding residents of resources for help in the county, and reducing avenues for drug abuse and addiction.

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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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