Health & Medicine

Got leftover opioid medication? Walmart can help customers get rid of it

Walmart is offering an opioid disposal program for its customers, the retailer announced Wednesday.

Customers filling opioid prescriptions at Walmart pharmacies will get a free solution that makes leftover opioid medications safe to dispose of the trash.

The solution, know as DisposeRx, is poured into a pill bottle with warm water and turns the contents into a biodegradable gel, according to a Walmart release. The chemicals in the solution are considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Opioid abuse has skyrocketed in the United States in the last 25 years and accounts for the greatest proportion of prescription drug abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. By 2002, death certificates listed opioid poisoning as a cause of death more commonly than heroin or cocaine.

Opioid medications include hydrocodone and morphine along with brand name drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.

Existing Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy customers can pick up a packet of DisposeRx any time, according to the release. Packets will also be available at the Walmart Wellness Day on Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all Walmart store locations. Blood pressure and blood glucose checks will be offered along with low-cost immunizations.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM