Attorney General Chris Carr and CVS Health today announced at a press conference the company’s plans to create drug-disposal collection points at 24 CVS Pharmacy stores in Georgia. CVS Health is installing these safe medication disposal units at 750 locations nationwide. This initiative complements Attorney General Carr’s efforts to reduce the amount of unused and unneeded prescription medications lingering in Georgia households.

“Unfortunately, our very own medicine cabinets can be a conduit for opioid misuse,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We have to continue to forge innovative partnerships to strengthen our response to the opioid crisis, and CVS Health’s new initiative in Georgia is a great example of that type of collaboration. They want to make it easier than ever before to safely dispose of any unused, expired prescription drugs, getting them out of the hands of those who might otherwise abuse them.”

“CVS Health is dedicated to addressing and preventing opioid abuse in the communities we serve here in Georgia and across the country,” said Brian Bosnic, Division Vice President of CVS Pharmacy. “Expanding CVS Pharmacy’s in-store safe medication disposal program is one of the many initiatives we support to fulfill that commitment and our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

Opioids are a class of drugs that act on the body’s opioid receptors including natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic opioids. Doctors prescribe them, typically in pill form, to help patients with severe or chronic pain. When they’re taken as directed by a medical professional, they’re relatively safe and can be beneficial. But there is always a risk of addiction, and that risk increases greatly when they are misused.

“Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic is impacting every corner of our state, and Macon-Bibb County is no exception,” said Senator John F. Kennedy. “CVS Health is working to place safe disposal options in Georgia, so that, no matter where you are, you can find a location near you. This is a great step forward as we continue working together to strengthen our state’s plan to curb opioid misuse in our communities.”

In fact, data from 2016 shows that 11.5 million Americans reported misusing prescription opioids. This statistic illustrates why it is vital to safely dispose of unneeded and expired prescriptions. The Office of the Attorney General maintains an interactive Drug Take Back Map as part of the state’s comprehensive, statewide communications campaign, Dose of RealityCLICK HERE to find a location near you. CVS Health also donates drop boxes to law enforcement entities in need. Currently, they sponsor 23 locations at sheriff’s offices or police departments in Georgia and others can apply to receive a unit here.