Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary Marylou Sudders and Attorney General Maura Healey today joined local officials to announce the expansion of CVS Health\u2019s safe and convenient medication disposal program at the first drug take-back unit at the Medford CVS Pharmacy. CVS Health will launch 42 new medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the Commonwealth for easy disposal of unwanted, unused or expired medications in effort to help fight the opioid epidemic.\n\n\u201cAddiction can often start at home in our own medicine cabinets, and today we are pleased to partner with CVS Health and build on efforts to address this public health crisis across the Commonwealth,\u201d said Governor Charlie Baker. \u00a0\u201cThe units give our residents more safe and reliable ways to discard unwanted medications and using them will prevent unnecessary exposure to addictive opioids for anyone in your home.\u201d\n\nThe new units will supplement the nearly 40 units CVS Health has donated to police departments across the state and will be available for drug disposal during regular pharmacy hours. \u00a0Nationwide, CVS Health will launch more than 750 medication disposal units in its pharmacies and has donated more than 800 units to police departments, collecting more than 220,000 pounds of unwanted medication.\u00a0\n\n\u201cWith a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, we see firsthand the impact of the alarming and rapidly growing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse,\u201d said Thomas M. Moriarty, Executive Vice President, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel, CVS Health. \u201cExpanding our safe medication disposal efforts is an extension of the initiatives in place across our company to fight the opioid abuse epidemic, and we are proud to bring this new disposal program to the Commonwealth. \u00a0Massachusetts has led the nation in legislation to address this epidemic, including being the first to institute a seven day limit on opioid prescriptions. \u00a0As we implement this policy here in 2018, we will also build on it by instituting a seven day limit on opioid prescriptions for certain acute conditions for patients we serve nationwide.\u201d\n\n\u201cWe need all hands on deck to combat the opioid epidemic,\u201d said Attorney General Maura Healey. \u201cThat\u2019s why my office has worked closely with partners across business, law enforcement, and every level of government to disrupt drug trafficking, change prescribing practices, increase access to treatment, and fund prevention and education in our schools. I applaud CVS Health for making it easier for our residents to safely dispose of unwanted medications, and I look forward to continuing our work toward ending this crisis once and for all.\u201d\n\nAs part of the company\u2019s broad commitment to addressing the opioid crisis, CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation also announced $150,000 in grants to programs at Boston Medical Center, Mattapan Community Health Center and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center that support the Commonwealth\u2019s prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery efforts. \u00a0This work builds on ongoing programs the company operates including the Pharmacists Teach program, which brings CVS pharmacists to local schools to talk to teens and parents about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. \u00a0More than 15,000 teens in Massachusetts have already participated in the program.\u00a0\n\n\u201cWe commend CVS Health for its commitment to addressing the opioid crisis,\u201d said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. \u201cThe company\u2019s initiatives to combat the epidemic align with our statewide public health strategy\u201d.\n\nBetween 2011 and 2015, nonfatal overdoses increased by about 200% in Massachusetts. CVS Health is one of several pharmacies statewide that has made naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, available without requiring a prescription from a physician. To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has helped train more than 56,000 people statewide to administer the life-saving drug.\u00a0\n\nFor the first time in years, opioid-related deaths declined by 10% for the first nine months of 2017 in Massachusetts. Additionally, opioid prescriptions have dropped by 29 percent since the complete overhaul of the state\u2019s prescription monitoring tool, MassPAT. \u00a0In November, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the second significant package to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic, including legislation titled \u201cAn act relative to Combatting addiction, Accessing treatment, Reducing prescriptions and Enhancing prevention\u201d (CARE Act). The CARE Act builds upon the STEP Act enacted in March 2016, which expanded treatment, created new education programs and instituted the nation\u2019s first seven day limit on opioid prescriptions for adults.\n\nFor a list of all Massachusetts Rx/Prescription Medication Drop Box Locations, click here. For more information on the state\u2019s response to the opioid epidemic, visit www.mass.gov/opioidresponse.