INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – One of the nation’s largest pharmacies is cracking down on prescription drug abuse.
CVS and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill on Thursday said medication disposal bins have been put in 49 stores across the state. Once the meds go inside the bins, a certified vender seals the drugs and destroys them off-site, CVS said.
CVS said the boxes are watched 24/7 by pharmacists. The boxes are locked, bolted to the floor and walls with high-grade heavy steel for security. CVS said the plan is to put boxes in 750 stores nationwide.
The attorney general said, “The idea is to get a regularity about it, so pharmacies all over Indiana become the natural point in which to take back unused, prescription medication.”
“This is certainly a life-saving avenue providing us with one of the solutions to the issue of overabuse of drugs,” Hill said.
Customer Ellis Fawcett of Indianapolis said it is a “very good idea. I think the state needs to do more to get rid of the opioid epidemic.”
According to the attorney general, nearly 5 percent of Hoosiers say they have used opioid drugs for nonmedical reasons.
Tim Troyer, the sheriff of Steuben County in Indiana’s northeast corner and the president of the Indiana Sheriff’s’ Association, said, “Our senior citizens become very fearful of what to do with some of the drugs they have or that are overprescribed.”
Thomas Moriarty, CVS Health chief policy and external affairs officer, said, “A biproduct of this overprescribing has been opioids being really stacked up in medicine cabinets across this country. Our efforts today are about getting them out of the cabinets, off the streets, and disposed of in an environmentally sensitive way.”
CVS, working with law enforcement nationwide, said since 2014 it has safely gotten rid of 350,000 pounds of unwanted meds.