The product, a powder called DisposeRX, is meant to be used by customers who no longer need their prescription painkillers or are concerned that someone else might take their pills.
Retail giant Walmart is offering a way for people to get rid of any leftover opioids they might have by giving away packets that turn the painkillers into a useless gel.
Walmart patients filling a new Class II opioid prescription will now be given a free DisposeRx packet along with counseling on proper opioid use and safety. Patients who fill Class II opioid prescriptions on an ongoing basis will receive one complimentary packet every six months.
The company, which has 70 locations in New Jersey, announced a plan to introducing a new, free program starting January 17 for people who fill their opioid prescriptions at its pharmacies, Walmart said in a press release.
Walmart Marybeth says that the health and safety of their users and patients are in the top position for them.
The powder works on other prescription drugs and for pills, tablets, capsules, patches or liquids alike, DisposeRX says.The company said that as of last fall, it had donated around 1.5 million drug disposal packets across the country.
Walmart is not alone in trying to address the opioid epidemic.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, say that about two-thirds of people misusing prescription opioids are getting them from family and friends.
Walmart is trying to help curb America's opioid crisis. However, the retailer does not accept the return for disposal of the drugs that it sells. CVS and Walgreens now offer medication-disposal kiosks at hundreds of locations, a service that Wal-Mart doesn't provide.
Walmart's Hays said DisposeRX "provides a [disposal] solution for customers to manage that at home, and much more conveniently".
In the Walmart release, Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., where the company's headquarters is located.
It's a smart idea, one that can prevent unused medications from entering the black market.