Virginia Gummy Bears Emphasize Need for Medication Safety

A sticky situation

Inside the Central Elementary School lunch room in Amherst, Virginia this week among the chatter and laughter of children and friends, a group of fourth graders shared a bag of gummy bears that one of the students brought from home.

It started off seeming like a sweet treat. But soon, the children were feeling sick. There was nausea, vomiting, headaches and muscle spasms. The symptoms were so bad, five students went to the hospital, some by ambulance.

Investigators determined the bag the candy was in had residue from fentanyl. A synthetic opioid, fentanyl is 20 to 40 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It can be deadly even in the smallest amounts.

A ten-year-old boy who went to the hospital described shaking in the ambulance and saying he was really scared.

Officials searched a nearby home and arrested two people in the case. They are charged with contributing to the delinquency and abuse of a child. In addition, there are charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possessing Schedule I or Schedule II narcotics.

This image from the DEA shows a lethal amount of fentanyl.

Thankfully, the students who ingested the candy are OK. But this story emphasizes the extent of the opioid epidemic in our society and the critical need for medication safety to include safe disposal of medication to keep our families safe.

In fact, school district superintendent William Wells pleaded with community members. “I ask our parents to take charge. It’s here and it’s real,” he said.

Education is Critical

One of the best ways to combat the opioid epidemic is with proper education and safe medication disposal. DisposeRx® is a simple, in-home method that allows people to safely, conveniently and effectively remove unused medication from their home. It allows people to mix the DisposeRx powder directly into the medicine vial with their unused medication in the convenience of their own home any day of the year.

We want to champion the way we think about the importance of proper medication disposal and keeping families safe. Together, we can make a difference.

– William Simpson, President and CEO of DisposeRx, Inc.

And our efforts go beyond that. Proper tools are best paired with critical medication safety education. With hundreds of partners around the country, we provide education materials and guidelines for safety. For example, young people need to understand they should not accept candy or food to share. It’s sad to think we’ve reached that point. But this type of awareness should be emphasized at all schools.

We have also co-developed the Coaches vs. Overdoses™ Prevention Playbook, which launched this fall in five states. Coaches vs. Overdoses is a student and athlete prevention program that offers a unique strategy focused on the high school population, its coaches and parents. It pairs the distribution of in-home drug disposal kits with prevention education and messages from famous sports legends. The program includes educational materials, conversation starters, key facts on the dangers of prescription drug misuse, the truth that “one pill can kill” and the need for proper in-home drug disposal.

We want to champion the way we think about the importance of proper medication disposal and keeping families safe. Together, we can make a difference.

William Simpson

DisposeRx President & CEO

For more Information

Learn some tips to help keep you and those around you safe this holiday season
Visit the Coaches vs Overdoses website to learn more about the program and see the Overdose Prevention Playbook

Ask us how you help protect your family from accidental poisionings

All medications—from over-the-counter to opioids—can be dangerous in the wrong hands and carry some level of risk to patients, families, caregivers and even pets. Help reduce the risks by properly disposing of expired or unneeded drugs with DisposeRx medication disposal packets.

Contact DisposeRx, Inc. for a free assessment on how to bring the program to your community.

DisposeRx, Inc - Medication disposal logo
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New Address

DisposeRx has moved! Our corporate office
address is now located at:


DisposeRx, Inc.
146 NW Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387


Please update your address book. Thank you and remember to check your medicine cabinet and dispose of any unneeded or expired medications.

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