Walmart offering free opioid disposal solution for prescription - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Walmart offering free opioid disposal solution for prescription drugs

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YAKIMA, WA - With the number of deaths in the opioid crisis across the U.S. continuing to climb, one of the country's biggest retailers is fighting back to save lives.

Walmart is now offering prescription patients what they say is a "first of its kind opioid disposal solution," and it's no bigger than a stick of gum.

"Dispose Rx" are small packets with ingredients that will help people properly get rid of leftover medications, and the best part's free.

“About one-third of medications sold go unused," said Senator John Boozman, R-Ark. "Too often, these dangerous narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access. I commend Walmart for taking this innovative approach to help keep unused prescription drugs out of the wrong hands."

Walmart has 4,700 pharmacies in the U.S., which includes close to a dozen in southeastern Washington.

Patients filling new Class II opioid prescriptions will get a Dispose Rx packet and a safety information brochure. Those with Chronic 2 opioid prescriptions will get a packet every 6 months. Existing pharmacy patients also get them; they just have to ask.

And getting rid of the drugs is really easy.

"Dump the contents of the Dispose Rx packet into the pill bottle with warm water," said Walmart spokesperson, Erin Hulliberger. "Shake it for about 30 seconds. That will create a gel that's both non-divertible and biodegradable and can therefore be disposed off right at home in their trash can."

Dispose Rx works on any form of prescription drugs, including powders, pills, tablets, and even liquids and patches.

Walmart says the chemicals in the packet are listed as safe by the FDA.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, more than 65 percent of people misusing prescription opioids are getting them from family and friends' personal prescriptions.