In the News

Two San Diego Walgreens stores join a growing list of locations countywide where residents can safely dispose of unneeded medications.

Abuse of opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet is at record levels nationwide, and the kiosks are part of a wide-ranging effort to make sure that unneeded drugs do not linger in family medicine cabinets where they can be easily intercepted.

The new drop-off kiosks, which accept all types of unwanted, unneeded or expired medications, are in the Mira Mesa and North Park Walgreens stores at 10787 Camino Ruiz and 3222 University Ave. They are in addition to more than 30 government-run collection points in most sheriff’s stations and police offices throughout San Diego County. A full list is available online at or by dialing 211.

Walgreens has installed take-back boxes at 50 of its stores in California, and is partnering with local politicians, including San Diego Congressman Scott Peters, to make the public aware of its new program. CVS Pharmacies has also been working on the drug disposal front, donating collection boxes to 500 law enforcement agencies across the nation.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, claiming 47,055 lives in 2014.

Opioid overdose increased 21 percent from 2006 to 2010, according to federal public health data.