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Wal-Mart hopes new substance could curb the opioid epidemic

Opioid deaths are at an all-time high across the nation.

In 2016 alone – The National Center for Health statistics says more than 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses.

Leaders for The Centers for Disease Control say opioid overdoses now kill more people than breast cancer.

If someone is prescribed a drug, there is a risk it could get in the wrong hands and misused. That’s why Wal-Mart is hoping a single packet called Dispose RX could help curb the opioid epidemic.

Dispose RX is a substance that comes in a packet and used to dissolve opioids like OxyContin, hydrocodone or Percocet.

Here’s how it works – just put unwanted medications in warm water, add Dispose RX and shake for about 30 seconds.

It turns the drugs into an unusable, biodegradable gel which then can be thrown away.

Experts say those forgotten medications in the bathroom or kitchen cabinet are highly susceptible to misuse. 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.

“We simply felt Dispose RX was the best solution for our patients and pharmacies. It’s safe and responsible way to get rid of their medications without ever leaving their home,” said Wal-Mart Spokeswoman, Erin Hulliberger.

Dispose RX is exclusive to Wal-Mart and can be picked up in the pharmacy for free – even without filling a prescription.