Google searches for “medication disposal near me” reached an all-time high in January, according to company officials and in response, the popular search engine is launching a new service on Google Maps and Google Search that will better point people in the direction of those drop off locations.
A search for things like “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal near me” will display permanent disposal locations at local pharmacies, hospitals or government buildings.
More than 50 percent of prescription drug abuse starts with drugs obtained from friends or family, making safely disposing of unused mediciation so important, according to a news release.
“By bringing opioid disposal site information to Google Maps, Americans are only a search away from helping to address the opioid crisis. This type of consumer empowerment, providing easily accessible data, is the kind of innovation needed to improve healthcare,” said Chief Technology Officer of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Ed Simcox.
The project is part of a partnership between Google, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CVS, Walgreens and various state governments.
The DEA is working with Google to provide more locations to be added to the maps.