RIVERTON (ABC4 News) – Riverton is teaming up with a Utah company to fight the opioid epidemic and it turns out that their solution involves an actual “solution.”
Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs has seen his city affected by Utah’s so-called opidemic.
“Deaths from opioids now surpass deaths from motor vehicles and firearms,” he said at a Thursday morning news conference.
Mayor Staggs says there were 650 reported drug-related deaths statewide last year with many addicts using other people’s leftover prescription medication that they either stole or purchased on the black market.
David Schiller is a former DEA Special Agent in Charge who’s now the President and CEO of a Vineyard based drug disposal company called NarcX.
“The unfortunate reality is while we’re having this press conference…somebody’s going to die while we’re up here in Utah,” Schiller told reporters before describing his company’s product.
“NarcX is the first, it’s the only onsite method of destruction in the United States, in the world that as soon as you put your unwanted pill, tablet, capsule or liquid into the NarcX container, it is immediately non-divertable,” Schiller said. “The second you put it in, you couldn’t go back in and take it out.”
That’s because the medication is dissolved in a chemical solution, rendering it ineffective and harmless.
Riverton will place six of these kiosks around town: at City Hall, the Police Department, the Public Works Building and at each of their 3 fire stations. Riverton Police officers will also carry smaller bottles in their vehicles.
Brian Besser, DEA District Agent In Charge and Co-Chairman of the Utah Opioid Task Force, thinks the NarcX devices could have a big impact.
“I’m thankful for an innovative product like this,” Agent Besser said. “Because this could be an absolute game-changer.”
Intermountain Riverton Hospital is also a partner in the project. They’ll be distributing a thousand individual-sized NarcX bottles for home use.