LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A new initiative has been introduced to combat Louisiana's opioid crisis.
Lawmakers recently approved legislation allowing hospice nurses to dispose of medications after a patient dies.
Lisa Piatt, executive director for Christus Hospice care, said disposing of these powerful medications will benefit the families of hospice patients.
"I think the families will feel much safer with those medications gone," Piatt said. "Most families do want them disposed of, they don't want to keep it around."
"It's either a bad memory for them that they don't want to face or they have fears in their own neighborhoods of those medications getting out."
Piatt said it was a long process because of the legal red tape.
"Medications belong to the patient and when the patient passes away it belongs to the family," Piatt said. "So we didn't have the legal rights to take them away."
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said a partnership between Mallinckrodt pharmaceutical and Louisiana hospice providers, will help to provide 30,000 drug deactivation pouches to dispose of the drugs.
If you have prescription drugs you want to dispose of, you can find a list of locations at http://www.endtheepidemic.org