Texas university aims to prevent overdose deaths from prescriptions

Texas university aims to prevent overdose deaths from prescriptions

The University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) at Fort Worth recently launched an educational campaign designed to teach families how to properly dispose of unwanted or leftover prescription medications and prevent overdose deaths.

HSC has collaborated with Verde and community partners to distribute 500 Deterra pouches. The pouches destroy up to 90 pills when warm water is added.

Verde donated the pouches, and they will be distributed to community members and some patients at HSC’s Geriatric Clinic.

“The opioid crisis did not go away during COVID-19,” HSC President Michael Williams said. “In fact, hard economic times, isolation, and stress can often exacerbate addiction problems. Now is not the time to relax in the fight against overdose deaths, and HSC will continue to lead this fight.”

In 2012 through 2017, approximately 1.4 billion opioid prescriptions were dispensed, but only approximately 30 percent were used, according to medical experts.

In 2017, more than 6 million Americans misused drugs.

Earlier this year, HSC distributed 9,000 doses of Narcan, an overdose-reversal drug, and trained students, employees, and community members to administer it. That campaign also was aimed at preventing opioid overdose deaths.

Samaritan House, a nonprofit organization assisting homeless individuals and families, is one of the community partners.