Vineyard has first NarcX machine

Vineyard City Councilmember Cristy Welsh, NarcX co-founders Gavin Collier and Jordan Erskine, Vineyard Youth Council member Holland Welch and Vineyard City Manager Jake McHargue installed Utah County’s first opioid destruction receptacle at the Vineyard City Offices on March 1, 2021. This receptacle will be available for residents to use to dispose of unwanted medications during Vineyard City office hours.

If you’re like most Americans who have prescriptions or have had hospital stays and other situations, you probably have old or excess pills in your medicine cabinet.

For residents in Vineyard, they now have a place they can take those pills and know they have been destroyed.

On Monday, Vineyard City officials joined with executives from NarcX in installing a NarcX On-Site Collection Receptacle in its city offices. It is the first of its kind in Utah County.

By providing a NarcX receptacle, the city will allow for unwanted and unused prescription medications to be disposed of in a safe and effective way.

Once pills are disposed of in the receptacle, a solution turns them into a sludge, and they become inert and unable to be consumed.

“There are daily examples of people who find themselves facing the detriments that come with leaving leftover unused prescriptions in their homes,” said Julie Fullmer, mayor.

Fullmer told of an incident recently where a property was listed for sale locally, and during one of the potential buyers’ visits, the prescription bottles in the house were emptied. This situation is a strong reminder to place prescriptions in secure locations and dispose of them properly, Fullmer said.

Vineyard has a prescription drug collection box monitored by the Utah County Sheriff’s Department, which was installed as an Eagle Scout project by Vineyard resident Merrick Stilson. This new receptacle takes medication disposal to the next level, by destroying the pills.

“Vineyard City is taking larger steps in the fight against the opioid epidemic by offering this new way of disposing narcotics and other prescription medications,” said Cristy Welsh, councilmember, in an email. “Our hope is this new approach will help our residents stop stockpiling old pills, which often lead to addiction. We want everyone to understand that this is an issue that affects everyone.”

Holland Welch, a member of Vineyard’s Youth Council, was instrumental in bringing the NarcX program to Vineyard.

“My goal is to provide education to Vineyard residents on the dangers to public health and safety of keeping unused and unneeded prescription opioid painkiller medications, and how to safely dispose of them,” said Welch, in an email.

“For several years, in coordination with our youth activists, community hospital boards, and Utah County Sheriff’s Department, Vineyard has continued to find new ways to help educate and assist the community concerning the importance of proper prescription procedures,” Fullmer said.

She added, “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to work with our Youth Council member Holland Welch on the implementation of the project, as well as Vineyard City Council member and liaison of the project Cristy Welsh, former Congressman Ben McAdams, who shared the message Holland brought forward about opioids, and our local community partners at Dynamic Blending, the owners of NarcX. We are grateful to be the home city to this company and to have the pleasure to collaborate with the people that work so diligently in bringing this product forward, which makes a significant difference in this national crisis.”

Residents of Vineyard and surrounding communities can come to Vineyard City offices during office hours to dispose of their medications. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m.to noon on Friday.

Vineyard city officials were joined by NarcX co-founders Jordan Erskine and Gavin Collier in the installation of the new machine.

More information about Vineyard can be found at www.vineyardutah.org.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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