By the end of the year over 500 Walgreens stores will have kiosks available for people who want to drop off prescription drugs they no longer need. It’s one of two initiatives the drug store chain hopes will help fight drug abuse. The other effort is making naloxone, the lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription in 35 states.
The kiosks for medication disposal will allow people to drop off their unwanted or expired prescription drugs safely at no cost. They will be available at Walgreens pharmacies during regular pharmacy hours. The program helps to ensure that drugs are not misused by someone else, either intentionally or accidentally. If you or someone you know has an addiction to prescription meds, call Legacy Freedom today. We can help with quality outpatient drug rehab in Raleigh NC.
Safer Drug Disposal
Prescription drug abuse and the resulting deaths from accidental drug overdose have risen in the past several years. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 47,000 deaths occurred in 2014 due to drug overdose. Most people who try prescription drugs for the first time get them from the medicine cabinet in their own home or from the home of a family member or friend.
Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, said, “Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic among American teens. At the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, we’re asking parents and grandparents to pledge to safeguard their medicines and speak to their families about medicine abuse.”
The kiosks have been installed in California and will be in 500 other locations by the end of the year.
The states included in the initiative are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The store's president of pharmacy and retail operations, Richard Ashworth, said,“Walgreens pharmacists play an important role in counseling patients on the safe use of their medications, and now we are leading the way in retail pharmacy’s fight against prescription drug abuse. We understand the challenges our communities face, and we stand ready to help our patients and customers lead healthier lives. When the stakes are this high, the solutions must be comprehensive.”
The drug store will also continue to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). They set up collections at various places in communities for law enforcement to dispose of unwanted and expired medications that people drop off.
“Take-back programs are an important and easy way for the public to anonymously dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired medications,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “We look forward to the day when safe drug disposal options are commonplace and hope this action inspires others to create similar programs.”
Walgreens has 8,173 stores in all 50 states and is one of the largest drugstore chains.
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