New Prescription Drug Disposal Program

Rye Police Officers continue to engage people on how we can encourage people to be part of the commitment to end addiction. Some statistics state that 480 million pain-related prescriptions were written in 2014. 70% of prescriptions remain unused and could be available for abuse. Three out of four people reported their first opioid use was a prescription drug.

Your officers researched how other communities handle prescription disposal across the country. We discovered a drug deactivation system called Deterra. Deterra is a simple, environmentally friendly bag system that gives residents the opportunity to safely dispose of their old and unwanted prescription medications in the privacy of their own home. Officers are currently coordinating with other town resources (Rye Fire Department, Rye Town Hall, Rye Highway Department, Rye Library, Rye Senior Serve, and Rye Recreation) to proactively distribute the Deterra system out to Rye residents.

Each Deterra bag contains a water-soluble inner pod containing MAT12® activated carbon. Once the pharmaceuticals are placed in the pouch, you add warm water, which dissolves the inner pod releasing the activated carbon. The warm water also dissolves prescription pills, patches and liquids allowing them to be adsorbed by the carbon, rendering them inert and irretrievable. The bags being distributed can dispose of 45 pills, 6 ounces of fluid, or 6 patches. The pills can be a mix of different types, so separate bags are not necessary for each medication. Deterra will deactivate any organic medications including opioids. However, it will not adsorb any metals such as Iron or lithium contained in certain medications. If your medication has specific disposal instructions, please follow the directions as given.

Additional information can be found at If you have further questions about using the bags or the program in general, please call us at 964-7450.

Here is an introductory video on the system:


Here is a demonstration showing how to properly use the system: