Google Your Way To Disposing Of Unused Drugs?
By David Doolittle


If you’re looking for a way to help your patients put a dent in the nation’s opioid epidemic, look no further than Google Maps.

Google Maps recently added a search feature that will make it easier for your patients to dispose of unwanted and unused medications.

Searching for “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal near me” will display permanent disposal locations at nearby pharmacies, hospitals, or government buildings, Google said in a statement.

Properly disposing of unwanted and unused medications is one of the easiest ways your patients can help prevent opioid-use disorder, which is estimated to kill more than 130 Americans every day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said.

Twice each year, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency holds Drug Take Back Day to provide a safe, convenient, and anonymous way for people to dispose of their unused prescription drugs. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, although statewide locations have not been set.

The Texas Medical Association supports community programs such as take back days as part of its policy on addressing prescription drug abuse and overdose.

Since the first event in 2010, more than 800,000 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected in Texas, including 67,000 pounds in October of last year, the DEA said.

And if your patients miss Drug Take Back Day or can’t make it to a collection site, here’s a tip you can share from the DEA:

  • Take the meds out of their bottles;
  • Mix them with something unappealing like used kitty litter or coffee grounds;
  • Seal them in a bag or disposable container, and throw that away.

Last Updated On

March 21, 2019

Related Content

Opioids | Pharmaceuticals

David Doolittle


(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

More stories by David Doolittle