CVS said Thursday that it has has donated 626 safe drug disposal boxes to police departments in 42 states since launching the program in 2014.
In tandem with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 22, more than 135 CVS Pharmacy stores will host medication take-back events managed by local law enforcement agencies nationwide. The company said that will bring the total number of CVS Pharmacy-hosted drug take-back events to more than 800 since 2013.
CVS, too, has launched a new online tool as part of CVS.com’s drug abuse prevention resources that enables visitors to search by ZIP code to find a medication disposal kiosk near them that is accessible year-round.
The CVS Health Medication Disposal for Safer Communities allows local police departments to apply to receive a drug collection unit to help their communities safely dispose of unwanted medications, including controlled substances. Through the program, CVS Health works with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to provide the drug collection units that help rid communities of unwanted medications that may otherwise be diverted, abused or contaminate the water supply.
“Safe drug disposal is an important priority for CVS Health because of the critical role it plays in helping to combat the opioid abuse epidemic that is challenging so many communities around the country,” Tom Davis, vice president of pharmacy professional practices at CVS Pharmacy, said in a statement. “The more than 600 drug disposal units we have donated to law enforcement agencies through the Safer Communities program have collected more than 47 metric tons — or more than 100,000 pounds — of unwanted medication. We are also pleased to host law enforcement officials at more than 135 CVS Pharmacy locations for Take Back Day events this weekend on Saturday, Oct. 22, and at the same time launch a new tool that enables people to find local disposal options year-round.”
Other efforts to combat drug abuse and misuse by CVS include expanding nonprescription access to opioid overdose antidote naloxone to stores in 36 states. Through the company’s Pharmacists Teach program, CVS pharmacists have volunteered to speak to more than 100,000 students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. The company also provides drug abuse prevention tips for patients on CVS.com and recently announced a partnership with DoSomething.org to reach teenagers with a prevention message online and via text message.