ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) - Gee Vigna knows all too well the real consequences of opiod addiction. In 2013, her daughter Nicky died from a heroin overdose at just 20-years-old.
"She was home for college break and relapsed and she died in her home" said Vigna. "You never get over this one" she said.
Vigna says her daughter used heroin for at least three years before her death. Now she has made it her mission to educate people and provide resources for drug and substance abusers.
"You don’t go from zero to heroin" Vigna said. "It’s an escalation process. So many of them are introduced to heroin because of pain meds".
An epidemic across the country that now has the eyes and ears of United States Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri.
"We truly have an epidemic in our communities" said Wagner. "It’s in every cul-de-sac in America. No one is immune. We have to be vigilant and say not one time, not ever".
Together with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, the Boys and Girls Club of St. Charles County announced on Monday, their plan to distribute 10,000 drug deactivation pouches to make the disposal of prescription medications safe and easy for anyone.
"This gives them a very easy tool, that they can get it for free on top of that, just to drop all the stuff in there and it’s done" said Vigna.
The pouches are bio-degradable and easy to use. After opening and placing pills in the pouch, you add water and seal the pouch before throwing it away. The pouch can hold up to 45 pills at a time.
The pouches will be distributed at schools and through community organizations. They are also free and available for pickup at the Boys and Girls Club facilities in St. Charles.