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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — This week is National Prevention Week and several organizations came together to provide thousands of safe drug disposal pouches.

Leidos and its subsidiary Dynetics teamed up with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the Alabama Department of Mental Health, and Wellstone Behavioral Health to provide 19,600 drug deactivation (safe disposal) pouches to Huntsville communities this week.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, prevention is paramount as people cope with uncertainty and the disruption to their daily lives.

Telly Lanier, a Substance Abuse Prevention Intervention Specialist with Wellstone Behavioral Health says disposing of drugs by flushing them harms the water supply, and this is a better alternative to getting rid of them.

“You are able to put your drugs inside, add a little water, shake the kit, and then just throw it in the garbage,” said Lanier. “It’s environmentally safe and it makes the drugs unusable.”

Ann Light, the Acting Associate Director for Partnership for a Drug-Free Community said this is a good resource for those struggling with substance use disorder.

“This is another opportunity to get the medication out of the house, get it disposed of properly,” said Light.

Partnership for Drug-Free Community if one of several places you can pick up a safe drug disposal pouch. Other places are:

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama – Huntsville Housing Authority
  • University of Alabama Huntsville
  • Partnership for Drug free Community
  • Oakwood University 
  • Union Chapel M.B. Church
  • Drake State College 
  • Union Hill P.B. Church – Downtown Rescue Mission
  • Calhoun Community College 

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn are negatively affecting the mental health of many, and creating new barriers for those suffering from substance use disorders. This initiative will help support community awareness efforts in the state of Alabama and help community members safely dispose of unused prescription drugs found in homes. This distribution coincides with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Prevention Week.  

“People are at the center of our business, and just as we support the mental health of our colleagues, we must support the communities in which we live and work,” said Roger Krone, Leidos Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. “We are honored to collaborate with the Huntsville community and our coalition teammates to enable the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of excess drugs, and to more broadly impact our goal of improving mental wellness, especially as we collectively combat COVID-19.”