Why is Walgreens now selling to Heroin users?

Why is Walgreens now selling to Heroin users?

Walgreens is rolling out a bunch of kiosks just for Heroin users.

Heroin users take note: Walgreens has something for you.

Walgreens has announced that it will roll out two separate programs to help heroin and prescription drug addicts: kiosks that will accept unused medications for disposal, and providing naloxone — a drug meant to treat heroin overdoses — over the counter without a prescription in 35 states, according to a UPI report.

Walgreens first unveiled the drug disposal kiosks in New York last week and will now expand to Indiana and Ohio by the end of the month, with the goal of putting the kiosks in more than 500 drugs stores in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

“Walgreens pharmacists play an important role in counseling patients on the safe use of their medications, and now we are leading the way in retail pharmacy’s fight against prescription drug abuse,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations, in a statement. “We understand the challenges our communities face, and we stand ready to help our patients and customers lead healthier lives. When the stakes are this high, the solutions must be comprehensive.”

These kiosks will be primarily in 24-hour locations to provide maximum access to them. Walgreens is hoping the kiosks make it safer to dispose of drugs and more convenient to combat overdose deaths.

Naloxone, an opioid antidote drug that is administered by injection or via a nasal spray, can combat the effects of heroin and other opiod drugs. They were made available without a prescription by Walgreens last week.

The ultimate goal is to have naloxone available in more than 5,800 Walgreens stores out of 8,200.

The effort will aim to help not only heroin users, but also those who abuse prescription drugs, as painkillers like OxyContin and others are also based on opioids. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are about 6.5 million Americans who abused prescription drugs in 2014, and the CDC estimates that there are more than 47,000 drug overdose deaths that same year.

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