CVS to place opi­oid dis­posal con­tain­ers in its stores

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By An­drea K. McDaniels am­c­daniels@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/ankwalker

CVS is putting con­tain­ers in its re­tail stores where peo­ple can dis­pose of un­used pre­scrip­tion drugs as a way to fight an opi­oid epi­demic that has killed thou­sands of peo­ple across the coun­try.

The con­tain­ers are de­signed to get un­used opi­oids out of peo­ple’s houses, CVS of­fi­cials said in an­nounc­ing the ini­tia­tive Thurs­day. Peo­ple ad­dicted to opi­oids some­times get the drugs from the medicine cab­i­nets of fam­i­lies and friends with­out their knowl­edge.

The con­tain­ers will be placed in 750 stores, in­clud­ing 19 in Mary­land. CVS Health also do­nated dis­posal kiosks to Mary­land po­lice de­part­ments in Hamp­stead, El­li­cott City and Ris­ing Sun.

“Launch­ing our in-store safe med­i­ca­tion dis­posal pro­gram at CVS Phar­macy lo­ca­tions in Mary­land will help re­move un­used pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions from medicine cab­i­nets where they could be oth­er­wise di­verted or abused,” said Tom Davis, vice pres­i­dent of pro­fes­sional ser­vices for CVS Health, in a state­ment. “We are com­mit­ted to ad­dress­ing and pre­vent­ing opi­oid abuse through our sup­port of the work that or­ga­ni­za­tions like To­tal Health Care do to pro­mote ad­dic­tion re­cov­ery, which di­rectly aligns with our pur­pose of help­ing peo­ple on their path to bet­ter health.”

The place­ment of the con­tain­ers is part of an opi­oid ini­tia­tive the phar­macy and re­tailer an­nounced last year.

The CVS Health Foun­da­tion, the non­profit arm of the re­tailer, is also giv­ing a $850,000 grant to To­tal Health Care, a non­profit chain of com­mu­nity health care cen­ters that pro­vides sub­stance abuse ser­vices. The money will be used for pro­grams that track the way peo­ple’s trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ences con­trib­ute to their sub­stance-abuse prob­lems. The health care cen­ters are also in­cor­po­rat­ing alerts into an elec­tronic records sys­tem to bet­ter track if pa­tients are com­ing to their ap­point­ments.

The dis­posal con­tain­ers will be lo­cated at stores in An­napo­lis, Bal­ti­more, Clin­ton, Crofton, District Heights, Elkridge, El­li­cott City, Fred­er­ick, Gaithers­burg, Green­belt, Hol­ly­wood, Kens­ing­ton, La Plata, Lau­rel, North Po­tomac, Olney, Pasadena, Rockville and Tow­son.

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