Store is fighting the opioid epidemic in Michigan

Posted at 9:14 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 12:58:49-04

Marcia Lee Taylor is ecstatic to see 20 drug return kiosks now available in Walgreens across Michigan.

"Way too often we have this stuff lying around, it's either on a kitchen counter or it's in a bathroom, not secured at all," explains Taylor. "It's so important that we take the time to clean out our medicine cabinets and bring them to a kiosk, like the one at Walgreens, and get rid of them."

The kiosks are an effort to help stop the raging opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse across the state, and the country.

"It takes a community to try to stop prescription drug abuse and overdoses, it takes a community to do that," says Walgreens' Chad Downing. "We're just one piece to try and nip away at it and take a chunk out of that, getting it out of the medicine cabinets is the first step in that process."

The disposal ensures that medications that are unneeded or prescriptions that are expired are disposed of safely and properly, effectively keeping them out of the hands of the people that shouldn't have them.

"The best way to fight against addiction is to prevent it from happening in the first place," asserts Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley of Michigan. "This will make a difference."

People say they don't know what to do with their prescriptions because you aren't supposed to flush them or throw them away, so they keep them in their homes if they aren't being used, which is exactly what Lt. Governor Calley wants to stop:

"If everybody went to their prescription medicine cabinet in their kitchen or their bathroom and they took everything out that they didn't need, and they put it right in one of these kiosks, I'm very very confident in saying that that would prevent another young person from becoming addicted."

The state of Michigan did already have drug disposal locations at State Police posts, but the hope is that the Walgreens kiosks will be easier for people to get to.