SAFE Project and Deterra® System Launch the October Gone for Good® At-Home Medication Disposal Campaign to Address the Collision of Epidemics: COVID-19 and Opioid Abuse
With more than 40 states reporting increases in opioid-related mortality amid COVID-19, nonprofit, SAFE Project, aims to distribute drug deactivation and disposal pouches to over 11,000 homes across the nation.
WASHINGTON D.C. – October 1, 2020 – SAFE Project, a national nonprofit working to end the addiction epidemic, today launched its fall Gone for Good® at-home medication disposal campaign. Throughout October, Substance Abuse Prevention Month as made official by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), citizens across the U.S. can go online to DeterraSystem.com/SAFE to request a free Deterra® System drug deactivation and disposal pouch (“Deterra Pouch”) to be delivered directly to their homes. SAFE Project has also announced that Gone for Good will remain a biannual event to be held each April and October.
Noting the current collision of epidemics – the increase in opioid-related overdoses and mortality in the U.S. colliding with COVID-19 – Gone for Good encourages and facilitates safe, permanent at-home medication deactivation and disposal at a time where drug take back resources and events have become limited due to COVID-19 risks. SAFE Project aims to distribute over 11,000 Deterra Pouches, having the potential to destroy over 1 million leftover prescription and over-the-counter medication dosage units that would otherwise be available for misuse, abuse, accidental poisoning and environmental harm.
“The numbers say it all. Data shows that 128 people die each day from the opioid crisis – and now drug deaths are 13 percent higher than in the first half of 2019, on average. As we continue to see rising opioid overdose deaths, we need to work together to come up with creative and realistic solutions to prevent drug abuse – at a distance,” said Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, co-founder of SAFE Project and former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Safe disposal is a proven prevention strategy and I encourage communities across the U.S. to use Gone for Good as a catalyst to become more proactive with drug abuse prevention in their homes.”
This is the second Gone for Good at-home medication disposal campaign. As a result of the April and May 2020 campaign, nearly 1 million leftover medications, including pills, creams, patches, liquids and films, were destroyed permanently. SAFE Project enabled 10,000 U.S. households to safely and conveniently clean out their medicine cabinets and successfully broke down barriers to safe disposal due to COVID-19, such as the postponement of DEA Drug Take Back Day, limited access to take-back sites due to stay-at-home orders, suspension of permanent drop box programs and the increase in opioid overdose risks due to isolation and unemployment. Based on a survey of the recipients of the Deterra Pouches:
- 96% planned to use the Deterra Pouch in the next 30 days; 60% used it immediately.
- Nearly 50% deactivated opioids and narcotics, over 10% deactivated benzodiazepines, 35% deactivated over-the-counter medications.
- 50% had disposed of drugs improperly in the past or kept drugs for future use.
“Building on our momentum from the spring campaign, our goal this October is to increase the number of potential lives saved through the Gone for Good campaign,” said Jason Sundby, Chairman and CEO of Verde® Environmental Technologies, Inc., maker of the Deterra® Drug Deactivation System. “Substance Abuse Prevention Month is a critical time to explore how each of us can be a part of the solution to preventing substance abuse in the U.S. and we’re looking forward to partnering with SAFE Project yet again to serve as a springboard for these important conversations and actions.”
Sign up now to receive your free Deterra Pouch at DeterraSystem.com/SAFE. If your organization is interested in sponsoring or making a contribution to future campaigns to enable more Deterra Pouches to be distributed, please email Jeff Horwitz, chief operating officer at SAFE Project: Jeff@SAFEProject.us.
About SAFE Project
SAFE (Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic) Project is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to overcoming the epidemic of addiction in the United States. Using a collaborative, multi-pronged and non-partisan approach, our key initiatives focus on SAFE Campuses, SAFE Communities, SAFE Veterans and SAFE Workplaces. They are fueled by SAFE Project’s six lines of operation: public awareness, full-spectrum prevention, prescriptions & medical response, law enforcement & criminal justice, treatment & recovery and family outreach & support. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from our volunteers, SAFE turns hope into action through transformative programs, training, and technical assistance. For more information, visit safeproject.us.
About Admiral Sandy Winnefeld
Admiral Sandy Winnefeld graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and served for 37 years in the United States Navy. Among the many commendations in his career, Winnefeld was awarded the Distinguished Defense Service medal, which is the highest non-combat award given in the U.S. military. He retired in 2015 after serving as the ninth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States’ number two ranking military officer. Winnefeld was appointed in 2020 to serve as a member of the congressionally mandated National Commission on Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. He is currently a senior non-resident fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and is Chairman of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.
About Deterra and Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc.
Minneapolis based Verde® Environmental Technologies, Inc., is a privately-owned company committed to developing research based scientifically proven solutions to reduce drug abuse, misuse and negative environmental impact. The patented Deterra® Drug Deactivation System is powered by proprietary activated carbon, which deactivates drugs. Deterra is highly effective in adsorbing and firmly binding drugs, rendering them inert, unavailable for misuse and safe for the environment.
Tori Norris, Maccabee PR on behalf of Deterra System
Jeff Horwitz, SAFE Project