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Library offers drug deactivation bags

HUBBARD — To help combat the opioid crisis, the Hubbard Public Library is offering free drug deactivation bags to Ohio residents.

The Hubbard Public Library urges families to clean out their medicine cabinets of unused or unwanted medication because more than half of all opioid misuse starts with a prescription, according to the Deterra Drug Deactivation Bags press release.

“We definitely have need, and we have people who trust us and come to us for assistance,” said Amy Zell, teen and patron technology assistant at the Hubbard Library.

So far in 2019, more opioids were prescribed in Trumbull County per patient (164.75) than the country average (133.4). According to the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, the zip code 44425, which is in Hubbard, showed a 0.92 percent increase in overdoses from 3.03 percent in 2017.

The library began passing out the deactivation bags to discourage opioid abuse in an environmentally safe way.

“We have about 800 bags,” Zell said. “The campaign started May 28 and in two days, we gave out 25 bags.”

The deactivation bags contain active carbon, which neutralizes the medication. Each bag will hold 45 pills, 6 fluid ounces or six patches. Over-the-counter medication can be placed in the bags, as well as prescriptions.

“You put the medication inside the little pouch, pour some warm water into it, seal and shake. After about 30 seconds, the medication is neutralized. Then you can just throw it away,” Zell said. “This way, if people do access the medication, they can’t get hurt on it.”

Each bag comes with a postcard ,and Zell asks that if you use a deactivation bag to send the postcard back, as this will help with future programs. The postcards will record how much medication was successfully and safely removed from the Hubbard area.

Drug deactivation bags are free and available at the Hubbard Public Library to anyone who lives in Ohio — you don’t need to live in Hubbard to obtain one.

These bags are offered through a collaboration with Ohio’s SafeRX Collaborative, Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The campaign will continue until the library runs out of deactivation bags.

bshiller@tribtoday.com

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