The epidemic of opioid abuse and subsequent fatalities from overdoses has become all too well-known throughout the United States. As a result, many entities are taking steps to try and put an end to the devastation that this epidemic is reaping.
Walgreens Continues the Fight against Prescription Drug Abuse
One such effort is being put in place by Walgreens, one of the largest chains of drugstores in America. The company has long been a proponent of the nationwide fight against prescription drug abuse by participating in the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. More recently, they have started a new program in order to help fight the epidemic on a daily basis.
In February of 2016, Walgreens executives announced that they will be installing safe medication disposal kiosks at 500 of their locations throughout the U.S. In a press release issued by Walgreens on July 25, 2016, it was announced that 288 pharmacies throughout 21 states and Washington D.C. had installed these medication disposal kiosks, making them slightly more than halfway towards reaching their end goal.
These medication disposal kiosks provide a place for individuals to safely and discreetly dispose of any unused, unwanted, or expired prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Offered at no cost to patrons, individuals can simply drop off their medications in these kiosks at any time during normal pharmacy hours, which, at most kiosk locations, is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In an updated press release that was issued on October 16, 2016, Walgreens stated that it “has reached its goal of installing more than 500 safe medication disposal kiosks this year at its pharmacies in 35 states and Washington D.C.”
According to Business Wire, this is “the first national effort of its kind by a retailer.”
Improper Medication Disposal
Until recently, it was commonplace for individuals to discard of their medications by flushing them down the toilet, washing them down the sink, or throwing them in the garbage. However, as studies emerged, it became apparent that disposing of medications in these manners can have many detrimental consequences.
When the chemicals found within these medications are flushed down the toilet or drain, they taint the water, which can harm aquatic life, while also negative affecting humans who may be relying on these water sources.
When medications are thrown in the garbage, they become accessible to children, animals, and/or drug-seekers. Being unaware of the harm of consuming such medications, children or animals may ingest the substances, potentially resulting in fatal overdoses. Furthermore, individuals who are addicted to prescription drugs may intentionally look through discarded garbage in search of such medications.
By setting up these medication disposal kiosks, Walgreens is offering individuals a safe and easy alternative for disposing of their medications.
Finding a Location
For residents of Scotts Valley, California, a safe medication disposal kiosk is located at 210 Mount Herman Road. For a list of other select locations that offer safe medication disposal kiosks throughout the state of California, please consult the following website here.