We’ve seen the news features saying that opioids are one of the most dangerous killers of Americans these past few years. In fact, 130 Americans die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Google also noticed that there is now an all-time high on search queries relating to how and where to dispose of these kinds of drugs. Now they’re making it easier for you to find places where you can quickly and safely discard unwanted medication through Google Maps and Search.
Google teamed up in 2018 with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to develop a Google Maps API locator tool where people were able to find temporary locations for disposing their unneeded prescription drugs twice a year. They’re now making it more permanent by adding helpful tools in both Google Maps and Search.
When you search for things like “drug drop off near me” or “medical disposal near me”, it will show permanent disposal locations, whether it’s a pharmacy, hospital, or government building. This way, you know where you can always turn over your needed medication. Stats show that 53% of prescription drug abuse actually come from drugs that were obtained from family or friends.
Google worked with various federal agencies, states, and pharmacies for this project and the DEA is also working on providing additional information. This initial rollout is just the pilot and they will be looking at expanding the program through the help of various entities concerned with the opioid crisis, which is already a public health emergency since 2017.