The opioid epidemic has devastated many communities across the country.
At an event this morning the Altoona VA Medical Center unveiled a new, safe drug disposal system to tackle the epidemic.
Douglas Braff was at the event and spoke to Congressman John Joyce and the co-founder of the company behind the system.
Yes officials here say the opioId epidemic has not just ravaged cities across this country but also rural communities like those here in Blair County.
These officials also say that the epidemic has deeply affected Veterans.
They feel that one part of the solution to the crisis is with this.
The company NARC-X developed this unique drug disposal system that immediately makes any substances placed inside it unretrievable and unusable. Meaning nobody can steal the disposed medications and either abuse them or sell them on the black market.
“It’s so important that we understand…”
“…that these addiction issues face everyone. They face our veterans, they face our students, they face our families and friends. And this is an opportunity to bring innovation to properly dispose of those opioid drugs. The people can safely do that, right here at the VA.”
The co-founder of NARC-X David Schiller worked for the dea and started the agency’s national takeback initiative as a way for households to get rid of drugs they no longer need or that are expired.
“Eliminating these overdoses, these deaths before they can actually happen by taking these pain management medications out of the house, where they’re no longer needed by those that want it, because people are breaking into homes and stealing it for self-abuse.”
Here’s how he demonstrated what the system does.
“As soon as you pour the pills or the controlled substance, the prescription drug in a NARC-X, it immediately goes into one of our five-gallon containers, which is a liquid solution. As soon as it goes into the solution, it immediately renders it non-retrievable. It separates the binders and fillers from a control and attacks the control, so you couldn’t go immediately back in 10 seconds later and pull that medication back out. It cannot be abused, it cannot be diverted.”
And Schiller also says the liquid solution is eco-friendly.
“There’s approximately 50 Veterans Affairs locations throughout the United States that are using NARC-X in one of its intended ways, whether it’s as a collection receptacle, whether it’s on a nurse’s station, whether it’s in an emergency room, an operating room, to get rid of those medications. Because the VA registrant, they have to get rid of medications when they no longer can be used and NARC-X is the only method they can use it on site, as opposed to somebody coming and taking it, for incineration at a different facility.”
And he tells me he eventually wants to see one of these in every single VA Medical Center across the country.