Medication Disposal Kiosks
As the abuse of opioids and other types of prescription medications continues to be a problem throughout the United States, various efforts are being put in place in order to help fight the epidemic. One such effort that has been making headlines is the introduction of safe medication disposal kiosks that Walgreens has implemented in 288 pharmacies throughout 21 states and Washington D.C. According to a press release distributed by Walgreens Newsroom, this marks the half-way point for the total number of kiosks that they plan to open. In February of 2016, the company announced that their goal is to install these medication disposal kiosks at a total of 500 locations throughout the United States.
Walgreens has long been a part of the nationwide fight against prescription drug abuse by participating in the country’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day that was instituted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, the company has taken another step by introducing these kiosks that are available to individuals year-round. They are typically open during regular pharmacy hours, which is 24 hours a day, seven days a week at most kiosk locations. It is also completely free to dispose of one’s medications at these locations.
Improper Medication Disposal
In the past, it was commonplace for people to dispose of unwanted or expired medications by flushing them down the toilet or washing them down the sink. However, studies have shown that doing so can elicit negative consequences for both animals and the environment. The chemicals in the medications can taint water sources, while simultaneously impacting aquatic life. The tainted water can also negatively affect animals who draw from those water sources.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for individuals to simply toss their unwanted or unused medications away in the garbage. This, however, can be detrimental because it makes them accessible to children and potential drug-seekers. When anyone ingests medications that they do not have a medical need for, they are not only putting their health at risk, but they are also placing themselves at a heightened risk for experiencing an overdose.
In order to prevent these negative circumstances from occurring, it is imperative that individuals take proper precautions when disposing of unused, unwanted, or expired medications – both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) varieties. By setting up these convenient disposal kiosks, Walgreens is helping people have an easy alternative to simply throwing away their medications.
Finding a Location
For residents of Riverside, California, one of Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosks is located at 8044 Limonite Avenue. For a list of other select locations that offer safe medication disposal kiosks throughout the state of California, please consult the following website.