Google to show opioid disposal sites in Maps searches

Alphabet’s Google will show drug-disposal locations on its Maps programme, an effort to help people get rid of unused opioids and prevent drug abuse.

The internet-search giant has joined with US government agencies and drug-store chains like CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance to pinpoint places where patients can drop off leftover medication.

Google searches such as "drug drop-off near me" will bring up locations from a database of 3 500 sites in seven states as part of the pilot programme. That number will grow as the programme expands, Google said on Thursday in a blog post.

Opioid abuse now accounts for more deaths in the US than car crashes or firearms, and much of the problem stems from legally prescribed drugs that are used by family members or friends of patients.

By making it easier for people to safely get rid of unused prescription drugs, the company hopes to stop them from getting into the wrong hands.

The company used to make money from search ads catering to the lucrative addiction treatment market. It banned ads for rehab centers in 2017 after criticism it was helping unethical and even fake treatment providers find and exploit addicts.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
17.68
-0.3%
Rand - Pound
20.24
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.62
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.47
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.3%
Gold
1,718.41
-0.5%
Silver
20.79
-1.3%
Palladium
2,303.50
-0.8%
Platinum
924.00
-1.0%
Brent Crude
91.80
+3.2%
Top 40
59,840
0.0%
All Share
66,313
0.0%
Resource 10
64,568
0.0%
Industrial 25
80,073
0.0%
Financial 15
14,053
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders