REDMOND, OR -- A new medication disposal kiosk is now available year-round in Central Oregon. Walgreens unveiled its new Drug Take Back program Wednesday at a handful of locations, including at its Redmond pharmacy on South Highway 97. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office collects unwanted medications, but only during Drug Take Back Events.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke at a Portland launch event, praising the retail chain’s efforts to reduce the growing number of prescription drug overdoses in the state. "This is tremendously important because it helps people now. But, it is also something communities across Oregon can replicate." Wyden added, "It’s something that we can build on and use, really, as kind of a community-oriented focus, particularly for turning around some of these important prevention and addiction issues."
New Medication Disposal Kiosks are now available at select Oregon Walgreens locations in Beaverton, Grants Pass, Gresham, Portland and Salem, along with the Redmond store. The chain also launched the program in 22 other states and the District of Columbia.
According to national statistics, 44 Americans die of a prescription opioid overdose every day; of those, three a week are in Oregon. "Opioids have hit Oregon like a wrecking ball," Wyden said Wednesday. "And, what we’re going to have to do is mobilize our public health leaders, concerned companies like Walgreens, community volunteers, if we’re going to turn this around."
Locally, the Drug Take Back kiosk at the Walgreens on South Highway 97 in Redmond is available during regular pharmacy hours. The program allows anyone to drop off unused, unwanted or expired medications, including controlled substances, during regular pharmacy hours. Wyden called it an important step in keeping medications out of the hands of those fighting addiction.