Beshear announces new safe drug disposal programs

03/27/2018 04:29 PM

LEXINGTON- In an effort to combat the state’s growing opioid epidemic, Attorney General Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, is teaming up with CVS Health to add new safe medication disposal programs throughout the state of Kentucky.

Nine 24-hour CVS Health locations throughout the state will now have in-store disposal units, which allows Kentuckians to properly dispose of their opioids and helps to reduce the nearly 80 percent of heroin users who begin their addiction with prescription drugs.

“That’s pretty profound. What that tells us is that eighty percent of people using heroin right now didn’t go out and actively make the decision to buy a street level drug until they were already actively addicted. For 70 percent of the people out there abusing prescription pills, they aren’t their pills, they are from a friend or family member,” said Beshear. “It tells us that the most dangerous place in each and everyone of our homes, the most likely place to cause addiction in our kids and our grandkids, is the medicine cabinet.”

Nationwide CVS Health has units in 750 of their stores. However it is just one of the programs they use to combat the opioid epidemic in the state.

“Our safe medication disposal program is just one of the initiatives we’ve undertaken to help prevent opioid abuse and addiction in our communities,” said Thomas M. Mariarty, executive vice president, chief policy and external affairs officer and general counsel, CVS Health. “Since 2015, CVS Health has operated a program we call Pharmacist Teach. Through this program our pharmacists go to local schools and speak with students about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.”

Beshear’s Kentucky Opioid Disposial Program has the potential to dispose of more than 2.2 million unused opioids.

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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