How a Utah company changed the game in fighting illegal opioid scourge
Jan 23, 2024, 7:08 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2024, 6:38 am
SALT LAKE CITY — The Drug Enforcement Administration says more than 388 million lethal doses of fentanyl were seized in 2023.
It poses a question: What happens to all those drugs?
It gets destroyed and the Utah-based company NarcX provides a safe and immediate drug disposal option.
David Schiller has 30 years of experience under his belt with the DEA, making him familiar with the opioid epidemic and fentanyl crisis.
Schiller said statistics show approximately 300 people every day die from an opioid overdose in the United States.
Those opioids come illegally from drug dealers and other countries as well as medical cabinets.
Drugs like Narcan can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose but Schiller said many illegal drugs are so strong that the effects are more than Narcan alone can handle.
Drug take-back programs have given people a place to take unused or unneeded drugs out of their medicine cabinets and drop them off at safe disposal sites.
The take-back programs are a great success but Schiller said they have a weak spot.
“You have to stockpile your medication inside your home for six months at a time,” he said. “While it’s being stockpiled with good intent, it’s being diverted. People are becoming addicted. And they’re dying.”
That’s where NarcX comes into play.
NarcX is a liquid solution that neutralizes the drugs in moments.
If ingested, the liquid will make a person sick.
This method enables safe and eco-friendly onsite destruction of drugs, including fentanyl, and helps prevent overdoses by keeping the drugs off the streets.
It has taken off in Riverton, Payson, Provo and soon in American Fork.
“I would routinely have moms and dads and young adults say, ‘We’ve had this medication. We know the side effects and we don’t know what to do. We want to do the right thing,’” Schiller added. “Now they’re saying, ‘Thank god there’s NarcX, where we can either take it to a reciprocal and get rid of it instantaneously, and it cannot be diverted, or there’s containers we can use in our household.’ So, it’s a legacy. It’s a game changer.”