Innovation That Matters

Pharmacy combats prescription drug abuse with drop-off bins


The CVS pharmacy company provided Cairo, New York police with a prescription drug drop-off bin for residents to safely dispose of excess medications.

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An extension of the community’s annual Drug Take Back Day, Cairo, New York’s new CVS pharmacy-sponsored medication disposal bin is located near Angelo Canna Park. Funded by CVS’ Safer Communities Grant, the drug drop-off point now allows the Cairo police department to better manage disposals year-round. Previously, before the bin was installed, the local CVS was referring people to the police department, and the police department was referring people to a variety of locations for safe prescription drug disposal.

Now, Cairo police are able to provide a single set of instructions, and the bin is accessible 24 hours a day. The department will provide the local government with a quarterly report on volumes collected and will work with the local Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on disposing of the drop-offs. With prescription drug abuse an ongoing health problem across the country, local councilors are hoping the new bin will help families and friends feel more confident about disposing of anything that could be used by an addict.

Addictions come in many shapes, and technology is finding new ways to help break destructive cycles. Virtual reality is being used to help recovering drug addicts learn coping mechanisms for high-stimulus environments, and motivational text messages are sent to overshoppers to help them try to overcome their shopping addiction. Are there safeguards that could be built into technological interventions to help prevent new addictions from forming?



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