U.S. Rep Scott Peters Joins Walgreens in Program to Combat Opioid Abuse in San Diego

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Walgreens Thursday unveiled a new safe medication disposal kiosk at the Walgreens pharmacy located at 10787 Camino Ruiz in San Diego during an event with U.S. Representative Scott Peters.

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A second kiosk in the city has been installed in the Walgreens at 3222 University Avenue. Individuals in the area of San Diego can now use both locations to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, at no cost.

This event marks the continued implementation of the first of two programs in California to combat drug abuse, part of a comprehensive national plan announced earlier this year to address key contributors to the crisis. Walgreens has installed 50 safe medication disposal kiosks in Walgreens drugstores across the state. The safe medication disposal kiosks make the disposal of medications easier while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths.

“By making safe medication disposal kiosks available in select California stores and expanding to other states this year, Walgreens is taking an important first step to curb the misuse of medications throughout the country,” said Alex Gourlay, President of Walgreen Co. “As a pharmacy, we are committed to playing a role in what must be a comprehensive solution to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse.”

To kick off the launch of the safe medication disposal program in California, Walgreens is hosting a series of events with local lawmakers surrounding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30th.

Congressman Peters, who is working to fight the drug abuse crisis.

“Opiate and prescription drug abuse knows no boundaries, and has infiltrated many of our own communities here in San Diego,” said Congressman Peters. “Any comprehensive solution to this problem must include safe and free disposal methods for unused prescription drugs, no questions asked. I appreciate the willingness of Walgreens to be part of the solution, and encourage San Diegans to utilize this resource to rid their homes of unneeded prescription drugs and keep them out of the wrong hands.”

To Help Curb Misuse of Medications and the Rise in Overdose Deaths pharmacies in California Walgreens also is working to make naloxone, a potentially lifesaving opioid antidote, available without requiring a prescription from an individual’s physician at California pharmacies. The medication is currently available with a prescription in California and can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.

“The expansion of our kiosk program to San Diego means that people in the area can drop off unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications year-round to protect our children, families and the environment.” said Robbie Jacobs, Walgreens Regional Healthcare Director in California.

In February, Walgreens announced plans to make naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington D.C. in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations. In states where a prescription is required, Walgreens is available and eager to work with regulators to help update rules to allow for dispensing of naloxone without a prescription.

When implementation of the program is complete, naloxone will be available without a prescription in more than 5,800 of Walgreens’ nearly 8,200 stores.

The installation of safe medication disposal kiosks in California is part of a nationwide effort and is expected to be completed at more than 500 Walgreens locations later this year. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies will be available during regular pharmacy hours (24 hours a day at most of these locations)  and will offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

Drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk. More Americans die every day from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle crashes, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

About 4,500 Californians died following drug overdoses in 2014, up by 1,500 (or 50 percent) from 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That same year, the CDC reported a national total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths, which include deaths from prescription and illicit drugs.

That is a 6.5 percent increase from 2013 and a 140 percent increase since 2000. Earlier this week, the company announced it is collaborating with the American Pharmacists Association Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies to continue to offer a substance abuse education program for pharmacists and student pharmacists in June.

Walgreens also continues to participate in DEA sponsored National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, serving as a collection point in communities for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal.

Select California Walgreens with safe medication disposal kiosks:

Alameda — 2300 Otis Drive

Anaheim — 3446 W. Ball Road

Arleta — 9750 Woodman Ave.

Bakersfield — 9550 Hageman Road

Bellflower — 9031 Rosecrans Ave.

Burlingame — 260 El Camino Real

Cathedral City — 33975 Date Palm Drive

Chico — 860 East Ave.

Chino — 12490 Central Ave.

Citrus Heights — 6144 Dewey Drive

El Cerrito — 11565 San Pablo Ave.

Elk Grove — 7299 Laguna Blvd.

Fontana — 16108 Foothill Blvd.

Freedom — 1810 Freedom Blvd.

Fresno — 1016 W. Shaw Ave.; 626 S. Clovis Ave.

Fullerton — 1826 W. Orangethorpe Ave.

Gardena — 1344 W. Redondo Beach Blvd.

Hesperia — 17051 Bear Valley Road

Huntington Beach — 19001 Brookhurst St.

La Puente — 934 N. Hacienda Blvd.

Lodi — 75 N. Ham Lane

Long Beach — 2627 Pacific Ave.

Los Angeles — 3201 W. 6th St.

Los Gatos — 423 N. Santa Cruz Ave.

Menifee — 30251 Murrieta Road

Mountain View — 121 E. El Camino Real

Oceanside — 3752 Mission Ave.

Palm Desert — 44840 Monterey Ave.

Riverside — 8044 Limonite Ave.

San Diego — 3222 University Ave.; 10787 Camino Ruiz

San Francisco — 5280 Geary Blvd.; 1189 Potrero Ave.; 275 Sacramento St.; 498 Castro St.; 3201

Divisardero St.

San Jose — 350 N. Capitol Ave.

San Leandro — 15500 Washington Ave.

Santa Cruz — 1718 Soquel Ave.; 201 Front St.

Santa Maria — 2399 S. Broadway

Santa Rosa — 4610 Sonoma Hwy.

Scotts Valley — 210 Mount Hermon Road

Seaside — 1055 Fremont Road

Turlock — 1591 Geer Road

Tustin — 13052 Newport Ave.

Vallejo — 1050 Redwood St.

Van Nuys — 5224 Coldwater Canyon Ave.

Visalia — 100 W. Walnut Ave.

Walnut Creek — 2900 Main St.

Yuba City — 855 Colusa Ave.

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