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Governor Baker, joined by state and local officials, announced that Walgreens is the first pharmacy in Massachusetts to launch a new safe and convenient medication disposal program to reduce prescription drug misuse during a visit to a Quincy store with one of the new kiosks. Walgreens installed 13 drug take-back kiosks in pharmacies throughout Massachusetts for easy disposal of unwanted, unused or expired medications at no cost and no questions asked.

More from the Patriot Ledger:

Following a dental procedure, Gov. Charlie Baker said one of his family members received a prescription for an opiate pain medicine – much of which went unused.

Baker said he mentioned to some of his neighbors that they were going to drop the unneeded pills off at the police station for proper disposal, instead of leaving them in a medicine cabinet.

“Our neighbors said, ‘Why would you ever take that unused pain medication down to the police station and get rid of it? Who knows, you might need it someday, or someone else in your family might need it,’” Baker said Wednesday, while standing in front of the pharmacy window at the Quincy Avenue Walgreens store. “There are real consequences to that.”

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The link between abuse of addictive prescription pills, such as oxycodone, and heroin use is well known to police and health professionals. For some addicts, their drug dependence began with a legitimate prescription, while others found the pills in someone else’s medicine cabinets.

Installation of the statewide kiosks is another step forward in the Commonwealth’s commitment to battling the opioid and heroin epidemic that has impacted communities from Cape Cod to Western Massachusetts. Take-back kiosks are located at Walgreens stores in East Boston, Fall River, Framingham, Gloucester, Lowell, Malden, Quincy, Randolph, Roxbury, Stoneham, Stoughton, Springfield and Worcester.

The kiosks are heavy metal containers with a top, one-way opening drop slot and lock that will be mounted to the ground or wall with direct or video surveillance while the pharmacy is open. Individuals can dispose of all prescriptions including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies will be available for use during regular pharmacy hours.

Fighting the ongoing opioid epidemic has been a priority of the Baker-Polito Administration since day one.  Earlier this year, Governor Baker signed landmark opioid legislation into law to address the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth.  The law includes numerous recommendations from the Governor’s opioid working group, including prevention education for students and doctors, and the first law in the nation to establish a seven-day limit on first-time opioid prescriptions. It also requires that doctors check the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database before writing a prescription for a Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 narcotic.

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