There is a safe and convenient way to get unused or expired prescription drugs out of your home. And, if you live in Oneida County you can have the drug neutralizing bags sent to your home for free.

While we've been told for years not to throw unused or old medications in the trash, the latest tool in the fight to curb drug addiction will allow you to do just that.

Oneida County's Opioid Task Force is providing Deterra Drug Deactivation bags in their ongoing effort to address the opioid crisis. The bags provide permanent disposal of prescription meds, not just opioids, using organic activated carbon that destroys and deactivates the drugs. In fact, Deterra says the bags/pouches are proven effective for medicated patches, pills, creams, films and liquids. Just follow the instructions to ensure you are adding the proper amount of water, and simply toss the bags in the trash.

It's that easy, officials say.

The county is not only providing the bags for free, but also mailing at no cost to you.

“Our Opioid Task Force is using multipronged approaches to address the opioid issue,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said. “We continue to do the important work of helping people actively struggling with addiction, however, we also want to implement strategies focused on addiction prevention to reduce the likelihood of a person ever developing the disease. Since half of the people who misuse prescription drugs get them from a family member or friend, we want to make these medication disposal bags available to the public so that it is as easy as possible to safely eliminate that risk from homes.”


If you'd like the deactivation bags mailed to you home, just fill out the request form on the county's Opioid Task Force website at

There is currently a limit of two bags per household, however, officials say they'll be distributing more of these deactivation bags in the coming months.

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