As a part of drug store Rite Aid’s ongoing effort to address opioid and other drug abuse and misuse in the United States, the company announced on Monday that it is offering a first-of-its-kind opioid disposal solution at its 2,500-plus pharmacies across the country.

Every six months, Rite Aid will provide DisposeRx packets free of charge to patients with new opioid prescriptions and patients with chronic opioid prescriptions. The packets contain a blend of solidifying materials that offer a safe and permanent solution for the disposal of unwanted, unused or expired medications, including pills, tablets and capsules.

After water and the DisposeRx powder are added to drugs in the prescription vial and shaken, the drugs dissolve and are then chemically and physically sequestered in a biodegradable, viscous gel from which they cannot be extracted. The vial can then be safely discarded in household trash, Drug Store News reported.

“DisposeRx packets are an innovative and easy-to-use drug disposal solution and as one of the nation’s leading drug stores, Rite Aid is excited to offer this solution to our patients at no cost,” said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy.

“While there’s no single solution to the opioid crisis, practicing safe medication disposal is an important and significant step we can all take. Rite Aid pharmacists, as medication experts and one of the most accessible healthcare providers, are well-positioned to engage with their patients on this important topic,” Konrad said.

In addition to the required counseling required for all patients with new opioid prescriptions, Rite Aid pharmacists will advise all those who fill opioid scripts regarding the proper use of the DisposeRx packet. All patients with opioid prescriptions will also receive educational information on opioid use, safe storage, disposal and the proper use of naloxone.

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