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Rep. Delnicki Supports SW Students’ Proposal on Opioid Drug Disposal Pouches

Posted on February 28, 2024


Rep. Delnicki Supports SW Students’ Proposal on Opioid Drug Disposal Pouches

HARTFORD- State Rep. Tom Delnicki (R-14) hailed the testimony of South Windsor High School students from the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club in favor of a legislation proposal to require pharmacies and pharmacists to provide personal opioid drug deactivation and disposal systems to patients.

The legislation House Bill 5249, An Act Concerning Personal Opioid Drug Deactivation and Disposal Systems and The Opioid Settlement Fund would dedicate moneys deposited in the Opioid Settlement Fund to reimburse pharmacies and pharmacists for expenses incurred in providing such systems to patients.

The South Windsor Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club are a peer-to-peer education and prevention organization. SADD tackles issues like distracted driving, drug and alcohol prevention and positive school climate.

The easy-to-use pouches permanently deactivate prescription drugs, pills, patches, liquids, creams, and films and are safe to throw away in household trash.

“I am very proud of these young and caring South Windsor high school students who gave some very detailed and compelling testimony in front of the committee,” Rep. Delnicki, a co-sponsor of the legislation and member of the Insurance Committee. “The deactivation pouches make it simple to ensure that unused medication in our homes is safely disposed of, eliminating any potential risk or harm. Open the pouch, add medications and water, shake, and throw it away.”

South Windsor resident Kelly Juleson, co-president & Chief External Affairs Officer, for The Governor’s Prevention Partnership, a statewide nonprofit agency that is focused on youth substance misuse prevention, submitted testimony in support of HB 5249 to co-prescribe drug deactivation and disposal systems with opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions in Connecticut.

Last year, the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services joined the Governor’s Prevention Partnership and other federal and state partners in announcing the availability of 50,000 drug deactivation pouches as part of the “Prevention Starts With You” campaign in response to the overdose death of the Hartford middle schooler back in January 2022.

Additionally, each pouch comes with a conversation card for caring adults to start a conversation with the young people in their lives around the dangers of drugs and alcohol. We have distributed more than 15,000 pouches through community distribution methods during that time. Through a federal grant, this initiative has the potential to eliminate over two million unwanted medications.

South Windsor Police Chief Kristian R. Lindstrom submitted testimony in support of the legislation saying, “Even with the risk of the costs of the proposed co-prescriptions being passed on to the end user, it is hard to argue against a strategy that will increase access to instruments that can safely neutralize the dangers of opioids that might otherwise be abused or fall into the wrong hands.”

The bill also has support from the pro-environment advocacy organization, CT League of Conservation Voters who testified, ‘Pharmaceuticals in our water are a global threat to aquatic life and human health. Release of unused medications into the environment is a significant problem. They are now detectable in our rivers and waterways, even our drinking water supplies. Treatment facilities are not designed to filter or eliminate them, so we all become involuntary consumers of the compounds.

Because there is no recognized and convenient universal method for consumers to dispose of unwanted meds, they are flushed down the toilet or carelessly discarded into the environment.’