Walgreens to install prescription drug disposal boxes

I am so excited and proud to announce that Walgreens will install prescription drug disposal boxes in 500 stores across 39 states! Last year State's Attorney Mike Nerheim and I met with Walgreens to request that they consider adding these boxes to their stores for the following reasons:

  • Medical disposal boxAn estimated 10-33% of prescribed meds go unused
  • 70% of people who abuse prescription meds get them from a friend or family member
  • Accidental opioid overdoses has quadrupled since 1999 and outnumbers heroin and cocaine combined
  • Access to opioids in the home can lead to abuse by teens, and accidental overdoses by children and elderly
  • Improper disposal of pharmaceuticals pollutes our water and our land.
  • Take Back Days aren’t enough: People stockpile prescriptions in their homes for a one day/year event.
  • While people can bring them to police stations, it's an added inconvenience. Under this current model, the cost to dispose of these unwanted pharmaceuticals is borne by the taxpayer, since the collection and destruction has been overseen by government agencies.

I expressed that this would be good for Walgreens too:

  • It fits with their mission of social responsibility and environmental sustainability
  • It drives traffic to their stores with an additional visit
  • It creates increased customer loyalty due to commitment to employees, community, and the environment

I am tremendously grateful to Walgreens for being a leader and a partner in our communities and that Lake County was recognized as an important ally in this initiative. This move makes the disposal of medications — including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths.