Fire Department Offers Free Kits to Safely Dispose of Medication

The Strongsville Fire Department is trying to keep drugs from falling into the wrong hands by offering residents a convenient way to disipose of unneeded medication safely at home. 

Fire Chief Jack Draves said the city is collaborating with Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative to help stem the opioid crisis by offering residents DETERRA kits to dispose of old prescription and over-the-counter drugs. RALI has donated 400 of the kits to Strongsville. They are available at each of the fire stations, at the police station (7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays), the Ehrnfelt Rec Center and City Hall, 16099 Foltz Pkwy.,  until supplies run out.

To use, simply tear open the package, fill the pouch halfway with water, put in the drugs, and seal it. You can then throw the pouch into your normal trash -- the kits have a patented molecular absorption technology that deactivates pills, liquids or patches. 

Studies show that a majority of people fighting drug addiction first obtained the drugs from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet. People often let old drugs sit around because it's troublesome to do so, and disposing of them the traditional ways -- tossing them in the trash or flushing them -- pollutes the ground and waterways. 

The DETERRA kits offer a convenient way to responsibly discard old medications. 

In addition to the kits, there is a drop box in the police station lobby where residents can deposit unneeded pills at any time. Police also participate in the DEA's twice-a-year National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The next one is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 in front of the police station. 

Needles and sharps are not collected at these locations. The best way to dispose of those is to purchase sharps containers at the drugstore, or use a strong plastic container (not water bottles -- the plastic walls are too thin). When the container is three-fourths full, put on the lid, seal it with duct tape, label it "Do Not Recycle" and put it in your regular trash. For more on sharps and needles, visit

Strongsville police also offer the Safe Passage program, in which a resident battling addiction can simply walk into the police station and ask for help. The department will help get the individual the proper treatment without repercussions, including disposing of any drugs at their residences.