Governor Baker Unveils Safe Drug Disposal Program

Thirteen local Walgreens will now have medication take-back kiosks.

Governor Charlie Baker announced Wednesday a new method of fighting opioid abuse—one that will hopefully help cut it off at the start.

Thirteen Massachusetts Walgreens will now serve as safe medication disposal locations, Baker announced. The participating pharmacies, sprinkled across the state, will each have a high-security kiosk where consumers can drop off expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs, no questions asked.

“Opioid misuse and addiction can often start at home in our own medicine cabinets,” Baker said in a statement. “Increasing drug take back opportunities and installing free safe disposal kiosks in pharmacies across the Commonwealth is another step in the right direction.”

Walgreens already has take-back kiosks in 35 states, but this is the first time the program has been implemented in Massachusetts. Pharmacies in East Boston, Fall River, Framingham, Gloucester, Lowell, Malden, Quincy, Randolph, Roxbury, Stoneham, Stoughton, Springfield, and Worcester—many communities that have been deeply affected by opioid abuse—will house the kiosks.

In February, the pharmacy chain also made naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, available without a prescription.