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(Kathy Cline/KTAR News)
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Walgreens offering prescription drop-off boxes in Phoenix area

(Kathy Cline/KTAR News)

You can now drop off your unused or unwanted prescriptions at a Walgreens near you.

The chain announced at a press conference Friday it has placed secure, free drop-off bins in 18 Phoenix-area Walgreens stores. The bins are available during regular pharmacy hours or 24 hours. Walgreens officials say these are one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

Gov. Doug Ducey said he’s glad the chain’s helping Arizonans fight prescription drug abuse and addiction.

“For those suffering from addiction, law enforcement can only go so far,” he said. “This really requires an all-hands-on-deck approach from all of us.”

As soon as details are worked out, Walgreens will also offer the anti-overdose medication naloxone to anyone without a prescription. Ducey signed legislation this year allowing anyone to buy the medication. The idea is to save someone’s life right away.

“We will continue our work to curb the trend of addiction, and we will continue to focus on helping those already suffering,” Ducey said.

The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health says an estimated 6.5 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 2014. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths, which include prescription and illicit drugs, during the same year.

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