Walgreens and AmerisourceBergen are partnering to expand their safe medication disposal program in Mississippi. U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith encouraged the public to take advantage of the opioid drop boxes as part of an “all-hands-on-deck approach” to fighting the growing opioid epidemic in Mississippi.
“The opioid epidemic is a growing problem for Mississippi communities, and our response is going to require an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Hyde-Smith said. “The private sector and our local leaders are stepping up and doing their part to combat the opioid epidemic. Mississippians with unused or old prescriptions can also do their part by safely disposing of those drugs at designated sites.”
Unsecured prescription drugs contribute to the opioid crisis in Mississippi, where 3.3 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed last year alone.
“Every drug we take back and turn in at one of these boxes is another drug out of reach for our children,” Hyde-Smith said. “Every day, too many youth use prescription drugs to get high for the first time. Studies show that children obtain many of these drugs from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends.”
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy was present at the event along with Ole Branch’s Mayor Scott Philips, Walgreens Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations Michael Carralero, and other local and law enforcement officials.
Dowdy said the state is seeing a steady drop off rate at the boxes that are currently available in Mississippi, but every additional drop off location helps in fighting the opioid crisis.
Walgreens and AmerisourceBergen have now established 11 safe medication disposal sites in Mississippi. In addition to Olive Branch, there are now disposal sites in Brandon, Byram, Clinton, Columbus, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson, McComb, Oxford, and Tupelo.