‘Ride United: Last Mile Delivery’ helping with disposal of unwanted & expired medications

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:57 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - There’s a new item available through DoorDash… and it won’t cost you a dime.

It’s an envelope that contains a drug deactivation system that residents can use to safely dispose of expired or unfinished prescriptions.

“They tear it open put the pills inside, fill it up halfway with warm water, seal it, shake it up, and then throw it in their trash,” says Becky Savage of the 525 Foundation. “It’s that easy.”

“Anything that we can do to get these in the hands of our law-abiding citizens to help prevent the spread of illegal drug use and prescription abuse is going to be beneficial to all of us in our community,” says St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman.

It is not recommended that untreated prescriptions be thrown or flushed away.

Press Release from the United Way of St. Joseph County:

United Way of St. Joseph County, the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office and 525 Foundation via their Prevention Plus program have come together to utilize United Way’s Door Dash partnership Ride United: Last Mile Delivery (RULMD) to distribute DETERRA® drug deactivation systems to St. Joseph County residents looking to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications as part of the county’s ongoing drug take back effort.

We want drug disposal to be easy and accessible to every resident in St. Joseph County. Our new program will expand safe disposal access by reaching residents who may be unable to get to one of our permanent drop boxes. Prevention Plus makes it possible for everyone to participate in safe disposal, making our community a safe place, says 525 Foundation Co-Founder & President Becky Savage

As prescription drug abuse has steadily increased in recent years, proper disposal of these drugs is a top priority for communities working to make sure they don’t find their way into the wrong hands. Many people don’t finish their prescriptions once they no longer need them but getting rid of them safely can prove difficult since putting them directly in the trash and/or flushing them in toilets are considered unsafe. The program is free and residents looking to receive Deterra packages via Prevention Plus should go to uwsjc.org/preventionplus, 525foundation.org/prevention-plus, or sjcpd.org.

Bridging the gaps between the needs in our community and the available resources is central to our mission here at United Way, so being able to leverage the Ride United Last Mile Delivery program in this unique way to help curb prescription drug abuse in our community is something we’re proud to be involved with, says United Way of St. Joseph County President & CEO, Laura Jensen.

St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman adds, I am very proud to announce this partnership with the United Way of St. Joseph County, the 525 Foundation and Door Dash to assist our citizens with this proactive support initiative.

The Deterra System is a safe medication disposal pouch or container that can be used at home or in a clinical setting. It is one of the safest, most effective choices used to destroy and properly disposes of medications with the simple addition of tap water. Deterra is scientifically proven to destroy prescription and over-the-counter medicine, including addictive opioids. Deterra helps prevent diversion, misuse, and abuse because the proprietary activated carbon used renders drugs inert and non-retrievable for all practical purposes. Its plant-based packaging and non-toxic ingredients prevent harmful chemicals from entering our landfill and water supplies, making the world safer for everyone.

RULMD is a home delivery program that brings food and essential supplies from not-for-profit and social service agencies to address hunger and other complex community challenges. People who need deliveries include seniors, residents with health issues, neighbors who live in food deserts, as well as others who may be in quarantine or dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19.

Utilizing Dashers, delivery couriers for DoorDash, RULMD provides a safe and reliable way to get food and other necessary items to anyone who needs them. In 2021 alone, DoorDash provided over 480,000 free deliveries and based on the program’s success and has committed to an additional 1.5 million free deliveries to United Way in 2022. Currently, United Way of St. Joseph County is the only United Way in Indiana to sponsor a Ride United: Last Mile Delivery program.

The program which just launched locally in January has delivered coats and shoes to clients of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County and delivers meals and groceries from local food pantries and food banks like Clay Church Food Pantry and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana on a regular basis. The South Bend Community School Corporation is also gearing up to utilize the service to distribute school supplies and educational supplies to students and families.

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