Drug disposal programs have been cited as an effective tool in the fight against opioid abuse by medical studies and the White House. Now Google is lending a hand by pinpointing 3,500 of these drop-off sites on Google Maps and via Search in partnership with the DEA, HHS, CVS, Walgreens and state governments. Search terms like "drug drop off near me" or "medication disposal near me" will display the permanent disposal locations at pharmacies, hospitals or government buildings.
Last year, Walgreens and CVS Health added hundreds more prescription take-back kiosks to their drugstores around the country. And earlier this year, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recommended expanding drug disposal sites. Google claims it will continue to add additional locations and statewide data to Google Maps.
The update builds upon the web-based locator it unveiled last year as part of the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Google claims that with the help of the tool, the DEA and its local partners collected a record 1.85 million pounds of unused prescription drugs in 2018.
"Every day, over 130 people in this country die from an opioid overdose...and the majority of prescription drug abuse (53 percent) starts with drugs obtained from family and friends," Dane Glasglow, VP of product, Google Maps, said in a blog post. "That's why Google wants to help people get rid of their leftover pills that are sitting in people's medicine cabinets."