Rep. Schweikert says drug drop boxes are helping combat opioid crisis

Feb 4, 2019, 2:31 PM
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – U.S. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona said programs designed to get unused prescription drugs out of medicine cabinets are helping in the fight against opioids.

“We’ve actually been surprised at the number of prescriptions of all types that are coming back in to be properly disposed of,” Schweikert told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday while touring a Phoenix CVS store.

Schweikert said the abuse of unused medications is one element of the nationwide opioid crisis that lawmakers have been trying to combat.

“We know from some of the statistics that a lot of the opioid abuse happens by misuse. Old prescriptions, someone has passed away,” he said.

“We need those to get off the shelf of that family and into the secure box here.”

CVS and Walgreens are among the pharmacies that have secure drop boxes in some of their stores where old prescriptions drugs can be deposited.

John Cerni, CVS regional director, told KTAR that his company “has seen 260 metric tons of opioids be returned in the last two years alone.”

Many metro Phoenix law enforcement agencies also have drop-off programs for unused or unwanted drugs.

“Never, ever flush them down the toilet,” Schweikert said. “They need to be properly disposed of.”

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has an interactive online map that can be used to find a drop-off location near you.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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Rep. Schweikert says drug drop boxes are helping combat opioid crisis