PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Governor Wolf visited a pharmacy across from Philadelphia City Hall to call attention to drug take-back boxes, as a way to curb the misuse of medications.
Walgreens Regional Vice President Kimberly Treece says two of its outlets in Philadelphia, including its flagship One South Broad Street store, have medication disposal kiosks.
“By removing this unwanted or unneeded medication, we are are preventing others from accidentally or intentionally misusing medication.”
All 16 Philadelphia Police Districts, among other locations, also have drug take-back boxes to dispose of medications.
Treece says they also have naloxone available without prescription to block the effects of opioids, and reverse an overdose. Its brand name is Narcan.
Governor Wolf says the abuse of opioids, such as heroin, is a growing problem.
“People become addicted to opioids, and heroin is one third the price, as I understand it, of, say Oxycodone.”
Mayor Kenney says it’s a “crisis that’s gripping” families on nearly every block.
“We lost 900 people in Philadelphia last year to addiction overdoses.” That’s three times the number of homicides last year.
Philadelphia City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says it’s a public health crisis.
“I’m old enough to remember the AIDS epidemic, and the horror that we were seeing in the 1980’s. This is the AIDS of our time.”
The Governor also announced an award of $200,000 in state funding for about 5,000 naloxone kits to be purchased by the Philadelphia and SEPTA Police.
The nasal spray, Narcan, is used for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.