Montgomery County got a grant to distribute drug disposal bags at local pharmacies. The bags allow people to safely get rid of unused opiates so they don’t end up being abused by addicts. CONTRIBUTED

Kroger, county partner on drug disposal bags to fight opioid overdoses

People picking up opiate prescriptions at 13 Kroger pharmacies will be given a drug disposal bag that allows for safe deactivation of unwanted pills and can be thrown in the trash.

Seventy-five percent of heroin addicts used prescription opioids before turning to heroin, according to Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services. Keeping unused pills from getting into the hands of addicts is a top priority in fighting the overdose epidemic affecting the county, the agency said.

RELATED: County surpasses 2016 fatal overdose total before June

“By using these charcoal deactivation disposal bags we can discourage misuse and abuse of unwanted opiate medications,” said ADAMHS Executive Director Helen Jones-Kelley. “The bags are convenient and easy-to-use with a simple three step process.”

When unwanted or unused pills are dropped into the bag and water is added, the solution in the bottom of the bag renders the drug unusable. The bag then is sealed and is safe to go into a landfill.

ADAMHS received a $50,000 state grant to collaborate with Goodwill/Easter Seals Miami Valley to purchase and distribute 5,000 drug disposal bags.

In addition to being handed out with prescriptions at Kroger, the bags can be picked up at Goodwill/Easter Seals locations.

RELATED: 5 key events that spurred Ohio’s opioid epidemic

Summit County has led the way in using the drug bags, distributing 40,000 bags last year. It’s one of the best practices Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Heroin Unit is aiding more counties to implement. Summit County estimated that if every bag was used as directed, more than 1.3 million pills would be off the streets.

Although most communities have drug drop off days or permanent drop boxes available to dispose of unused medication, there are many people who can’t travel to take advantage of those opportunities.

RELATED: Overdose deaths in Montgomery County focus of national news

The bags are also intended to prevent people from flushing medications down the toilet, which puts dangerous drugs into the the water supply, ADAMHS said.

The following Kroger locations will distribute the bags:

  • Kroger 722, 10101 Landing Way, Miamisburg
  • Kroger 754, 4506 Brandt Pike, Huber Heights
  • Kroger 758, 7747 Old Troy Pike, Huber Heights
  • Kroger 836, 3520 W. Siebenthaler Ave, Dayton
  • Kroger 923, 1095 S. Main St., Centerville
  • Kroger 747, 780 Northwoods Blvd, Vandalia
  • Kroger 751, 1027 S. Smithville Rd, Dayton
  • Kroger 759, 155 N. Heincke Rd, Miamisburg
  • Kroger 960, 5400 Cornerstone North Blvd, Centerville
  • Kroger 825, 2115 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering
  • Kroger 931, 2917 W. Alex Bell Rd, Dayton
  • Kroger 933, 1934 Needmore Rd, Dayton
  • Kroger 938, 885 Union Rd, Englewood

And the following Goodwill Stores are participating:

  • Goodwill Store — 6868 Miller Ln, Butler Township
  • Goodwill Store — 950 Miamisburg- Centerville Rd, Centerville
  • Goodwill Store — 501 E. Fifth St, Dayton –(Oregon store)
  • Goodwill Store — 606 Taywood Rd, Englewood
  • Goodwill Store — 5058 Brandt Pk, Huber Heights
  • Goodwill Store — 7590 Brandt Pk, Huber Heights (Sulphur Grove)
  • Goodwill Store — 1040 Patterson Rd, Dayton
  • Goodwill Store — 1970 E. Dorothy Ln, Kettering
  • Goodwill Store — 1258 E. Central Ave, Miamisburg
  • Goodwill Store — 5400 N. Dixie Dr, Dayton (Northridge)
  • Goodwill Outlet — 1750 Woodman Dr, Dayton
  • Goodwill Easter Seals Main Headquarters — 660 Main St. (Donation Center only)

MORE OPIOID EPIDEMIC COVERAGE:

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor opens up about her sons’ opioid addictions

How Mexican drug cartels move heroin to Ohio streets

Ohio gets $26 million to fight opioids

Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip

2016 deadliest year for overdoses, fentanyl deaths more than double

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