Major Retailer Takes Steps to Fight against Prescription Drug Abuse
The opioid abuse epidemic has wreaked havoc throughout Tennessee and across the nation. As statistics have come to light showing that drug overdoses are now the number one cause of accidental death in the United States, it is apparent now more than ever of how devastating the abuse of prescription medications can be.
For this reason, among others, Walgreens is taking a stand to help do their part in fighting these tragedies.
Having long been a part of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day that was initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Walgreens has made a monumental effort in further advocating for appropriate medication disposal by creating safe medication disposal kiosks and setting them up in their pharmacies across the U.S.
These kiosks were designed to give individuals a convenient and discreet way to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. The kiosks are open during regular pharmacy hours, which, at many locations, is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Continuing to Grow
In a press release issued by Walgreens in July of 2016, they announced that 288 pharmacies housed safe medication disposal kiosks, spanning across 21 states and Washington D.C. In February of 2016, the drugstore conglomerate explained that their plan is to open a total of 500 kiosks throughout the country, meaning that, as of July, they were more than halfway towards meeting their goal.
These kiosks can be accessed by anyone, and are available at no cost to patrons.
A source for Business Wire notes that this is “the first national effort of its kind by a retailer.”
In a more recent press release distributed on October 16, 2016, Walgreens announced 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.” Furthermore, the company reports that it will be expanding its efforts to Nevada and Maryland.
Improper Medication Disposal
Properly disposing of unwanted medications is of the utmost importance. In the past, many people discarded of unused medications by throwing them in the garbage, flushing them down the toilet, or washing them down the sink. However, in recent years, the detriments of using these methods have become well-known.
When flushed down the toilet or sink, the medications taint the water, potentially harming aquatic life, as well as negatively affecting humans who rely on those water sources. When medications are tossed out in the garbage, they become accessible to others. It is not uncommon for drug addicts to search through garbage in an attempt to find substances.
Furthermore, when not properly disposed of, children or animals may come in contact with the drugs and, unaware of the dangers that can ensue, ingest them. This can, tragically, result in an overdose or even accidental death.
Finding a Location Near You
To find an available safe medication disposal kiosk near you, please visit the Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Program website.
For more information on prescription drug abuse and treatment options available for those struggling with addiction, please contact a treatment center in Burns or in the greater Nashville area today.