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Walmart Offers A New Way To Get Rid Of Old Medications

Daniela Allee
/
NHPR

Getting rid of old medications is one approach to fighting the opioid crisis.

Now, Walmart pharmacies across New Hampshire will offer a new way for people to dispose of unused or expired medicine.

When someone picks up an opioid prescription from Walmart, they'll also get a small white packet filled with powder.

If they have leftover medication, they can fill their prescription bottle with water, mix in the powder, and a thick gel will form. That makes anything left unusable. Then, they can toss it in the trash. 

The company who makes the powder, DisposeRx, is a company based in North Carolina. 

Credit Daniela Allee
Gov. Chris Sununu, center, adds DisposeRx to a prescription vial filled with water and a few aspirin pills. Wal-Mart will give the DisposeRx packets with each opioid prescription.

At the Concord Walmart, Gov. Chris Sununu tried the method himself. 

"It's a goo. A useless goo," he said, after shaking the prescription vial filled with the powder, water and some aspirin. 

Celeste Clark is the executive director at the Raymond Coalition for Youth. She works to raise awareness around drug and alcohol awareness and prevention. 

She said this is an important tool as New Hampshire tackles the opioid crisis. 

"This way here is obviously convenient in your own home. Throw it in the trash safely," she said. "The product gives an opportunity to have a conversation about prevention and safe medication disposal." 

Patricia Arbour was out grocery shopping, and she stopped to watch the entire presentation on DisposeRx. 

"I think it's a really good thing that they're coming out with, and that Walmart's supporting to help the opioid crisis," she said. 

All Walmart pharmacies and Sam's Clubs across the country are offering this free disposal method to people who use that service. 

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.
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