PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — A Mercer County nonprofit donated a large supply of drug deactivation and disposal systems to Princeton Community Hospital.

Community Connections donated 5,000 Deterra Drug Deactivation and Disposal System products to the hospital on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. The product safely destroys unused or expired medications. In turn, Greg Puckett of Community Connections said this makes the drug unavailable for misuse and abuse, allowing it to be safely thrown away.

“Instead of mixing the drugs in coffee grounds or kitty litter — which has typically been the conversation — this product has a charcoal activator in it,” Puckett explained. “When you tear off the top and you pour the drugs in it, the charcoal activator, with a little bit of warm water added in, actually deactivates all of the drugs almost instantly.”

Princeton Community Hospital CEO Karen Bowling said the product is another key weapon in the ongoing drug epidemic.

“This is just another tool in the toolbox,” Bowling said. “As we work through these problems, we have to have multiple tools. One way of doing it doesn’t work for everybody.”

As a part of the program, 150,000 of these bags will be used by hospitals and community partners statewide within the next three months. The distribution will be targeting patients on an as-needed basis, especially those who need assistance.

Puckett said more are expected to be purchased around the state using money from the opioid settlement.