NAPLES, Fla.- Collier County is working on a new approach to help the community get rid of prescription drugs. Drug Free Collier says the new project couldn’t come at a more perfect time following last week’s huge heroin and pill sweep.
Deterra is a drug deactivation system that can be performed at home. It works by placing up to 90 pills in a packet, adding some warm water, and sealing the pills inside. The drugs dissolve after being shaken in the packet for about 30 seconds and can then be thrown in the trash.
Several agencies including the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Collier County EMS, Drug Free Collier, North Collier Fire Rescue Department, and Marco Island police are planning to start distributing the packets.
“What we can do is, when we’re at emergencies, we could give these products to people’s residences when we are dealing with an emergency and seeing the excess drugs,” said Anthony Maro, a training captain for Collier County EMS.
“We received 10,000 packets of Deterra at no cost to us for the community. So now well help distribute them to everyone,” said Melanie Black, with Drug Free Collier.
Black says having these drugs around is a concern for children, the elderly, and addicts. The project is also a priority following the heroin and pill bust that landed 18 drug dealers behind bars.
“So now you have a lot of individuals out there who are missing their supply, or need that fix, and so the next best thing would be the opioids which are found in many individuals’ homes,” said Black.
Collier County is one of only three counties to test the packets. They will start distributing them out Saturday at the drug take-backs happening around the county.