Carson High School senior and Partnership Carson City Community Prevention Coordinator Cruz Bulmer, 19, is spreading the word about the Deterra Drug Deactivation System.

“A lot of people don’t know what Deterra is,” Bulmer said. “Not many have heard of this great product that keeps drugs out of the wrong hands and protects our ecosystem.”

Deterra is a drug disposal kit that comes in the form of a small bag and is free through PCC. If anyone wants bags, Bulmer can deliver them, whether to a business or a person; a business can receive 150 bags at a time.

“Anyone can have expired or unused medication, or drugs — pills, liquids or patches, heroin, cocaine or meth,” he said. “You put the drugs inside the bag, add warm water, wait a couple seconds, seal the bag closed, and place it in the general trash.

“Flushing or throwing them in the trash is dangerous for the environment. Deterra is a good option for anyone who may have medications, even over-the-counter medications. Mixing pills in coffee grounds or kitty litter doesn’t make the drugs entirely unusable — but those are acceptable options for simple over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.”

Bulmer works part-time at PCC after his classes every day, he started as an AmeriCorps service member and was hired after his service, continuing to work with the community and educating people about drug abuse as well as proper drug disposal.

“I was working on safe disposal efforts when doing my AmeriCorp service,” he said. “I delivered 200-300 bags monthly to organizations and institutions, from hospice groups to retirement homes in Carson.”

Bulmer said for his Carson High School senior project, the school wants them to do something that will give them a strong experience and allow them to grow.

“Spreading the news about Deterra is not only a great experience and for the community, but this project is work-related as well,” he added.

Bulmer’s mother is a military veteran, having served in the Air Force for 28 years. She was deployed last year, and Bulmer usually moves to California during those times to stay with his aunt — but this time he stayed home and continued his responsibilities, juggling school, work as well as service.

For his senior project, Bulmer has done a handful of Deterra presentations — including to a meeting of Community Agency Action Network members, Carson City Rotary members and freshman health classes. He’s aiming to do several more, from senior classrooms at the high school to teacher groups and elsewhere throughout the community.

“Honestly, the whole experience with PCC has been really good,” he said. “Because of the fact that I work with great people and my boss is really supportive. I’m always getting great opportunities. I’m not really a student who likes school, so I’m just doing my best to keep my grades up. I want to do really good and finish strong.”

Bulmer is a four-year member of PCC’s high school youth advocacy club called Represent. The program at Carson High is dedicated to the prevention of suicide, drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

“I’ve been nothing but impressed with Cruz,” said Hannah McDonald, executive director of Partnership. “His work as an AmeriCorp service member with us, and now his efforts as our community prevention coordinator, is inspiring and unlike many of his peers. Our office has forever been changed; we are privileged to work with Cruz. He’s destined for great things.”

Bulmer said that making the right choices is important to him.

“I just want to keep doing my best,” he said. “I’ve seen friends and family make poor choices and take a long time recover. I’ve seen a lot of people close to me go on the downfall.”

Partnership middle school youth programs are also available at Carson Middle School and Eagle Valley Middle School. The programs are funded by PCC and meet once a week during lunch or after school.

For more information about youth programs and the Deterra drug disposal system, contact us at (775) 841-4730 or email Bulmer at (email link) – or visit the office at 1925 N. Carson St.