When workers who have been injured on the job go to pharmacies to fill prescriptions for opioid painkillers, they will soon be getting something else with it.
Starting November 1, pharmacies statewide will give injured workers a drug disposal bag with their opioid prescriptions. Gov. Mike DeWine says these special bags have chemicals that break down unused drugs for disposal.
“This effort will help insure that any extra prescriptions do not end up in the wrong hands, they don’t end up in the hands of children or in some way be diverted.”
Each biodegradable bag costs around $10.50 but BWC patients get them for free. Once the drugs have been deposited into those bags and the water has been added, the material breaks down through a chemical process. The resulting material is useless for legitimate or recreational use.
"We need every tool available to resolve the opioid and substance epidemic in this state, and it's my hope these bags will move us closer to that goal," said BWC Administrator Stephanie McCloud.
Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that nearly a third of first-time drug users over age 12 began by using a prescription drug for non-medical purposes.