Safely Dispose of Unwanted Medications

Optima Medicare is here to help you get rid of medications you no longer need in a safe way and without harming the environment.

Optima Medicare and Verde Environmental Technologies., Inc. have partnered to provide a tool to improve the health of the community we serve. The Deterra® Drug Deactivation System Pouches are an innovative, safe, and effective way to fight the opioid crisis. It deactivates medications you no longer need. Deterra pouches are available at select Sentara Medical Group provider offices.

How do I use the Deterra drug pouch?

Deterra Pouch Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is the Deterra Drug Pouch?

    It is a pouch that you put your medications in, fill with water, seal, and dispose of in the trash. It helps you get rid of unwanted pills, patches, and liquid medications within seconds.

  • Why do I need to use it?

    Many individuals have leftover or expired medications and flush them down the toilet. State and local authorities recommend that prescription medications not be disposed of in the toilet or sink. They can leak and poison groundwater, including well water, waterways, and water on the surface, possibly hurting animals. It can even reach the Chesapeake Bay. A Deterra pouch lets you get rid of your medications safely without harming the environment.

  • What drugs will Deterra deactivate?

    The Deterra Drug Deactivation System will make medications useless, including opioids. Do not use the Deterra pouch to deactivate antacids, lithium, and iron supplements.

  • After deactivation, can the drug be removed from the pouch?

    There is no reason to remove the drugs from the pouch. Once placed in the pouch with water, the process makes the drugs inactive and unusable.

  • Are the active ingredients in the Deterra Drug Deactivation System safe?

    The ingredients of the pouch are non-toxic. The carbon used in the pouch will not harm your skin or eyes. The carbon is non-flammable and stable so you can store a pouch at home without any worry. There are no known harmful effects if someone ingests the carbon from the pouch.

  • How does the Deterra Drug Deactivation System work?

    Each patented Deterra pouch has a pod containing carbon that dissolves your medications once water is added. To dispose of prescription or over-the-counter medications, place the drugs in the pouch and add water. This will dissolve the inner pod and release the carbon. The carbon binds to the active ingredients in the medications. Once deactivated, the drugs are permanently destroyed, unavailable for misuse, and safe for disposal in the trash.

  • How quickly does the deactivation process start?

    With Deterra, the process of deactivation starts right away, but it can take some time to finish. Some highly soluble drugs will dissolve quickly, while other less soluble drug types will take longer. The deactivation time varies based on how much and type of medication. As an extra safety precaution, it is important to keep the Deterra pouch away from children and pets while the medication is being deactivated.

  • Do Deterra pouches expire?


  • What are Deterra storage temperature requirements?

    The Deterra pouches do not need to be stored at a specific temperature and do not lose effectiveness when stored in extreme heat or cold. However, the pouch may expand or contract in these conditions.

  • Have government agencies endorsed Deterra?

    Deterra is officially endorsed by the DEA Educational Foundation and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) for unused drug deactivation and disposal. Deterra is the only product that CADCA has endorsed in its 30-year history. Both CADCA and the DEA Educational Foundation say that Deterra’s strong scientific backing and proven effectiveness as reasons why Deterra products are trusted over other available products. Updated FDA guidelines for drug disposal include at-home medication disposal products as a safe and convenient way to properly get rid of unused medicine.