said that it is using its homepage and maps starting to promote a Drug Enforcement Administration project to help combat the opioid epidemic, as regulators and lawmakers call for more direct intervention by Silicon Valley to address the drug crisis.
Underneath the Google search bar, the company wants to promote the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an initiative that encourages people to anonymously take it where they can safely be discarded. The semiannual event will take place Saturday.
"We 've been asked to launch a tool to help find a drug collection site nearby, drawing from the 5,500 locations where people can bring their unwanted or expired medication.
In a blog post Wednesday, Susan Molinari, Google's Vice President of Public Policy, said: "We have been affected in every corner of the United States. While the DEA has found that drug disposal is one way to prevent abuse and addiction, many people are not aware of or can not find it.
More than 42,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2016, up 28 percent from 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prescriptions Prevention. President Trump declared a public health emergency last year.
Google's project with DEA comes as leading technology companies are drawing scrutiny over their roles in the spread of misinformation and exchange of illicit products. This month, the head of the Food and Drug Administration called on Internet providers to help the web of illegal prescriptions that have contributed to the drug crisis. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that it was time for an initiative, akin to efforts. He said the FDA would soon meet with Internet company executives and advocacy groups to seek solutions.
During his recent high-profile testimonial on Capitol Hill, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, was pressed by lawmakers to do more
The DEA has "most recent" "Take Back Day" set for the total weight of drugs destroyed. But it's difficult to measure the effectiveness of the program because it does not assess the amount of opioid discounts versus other types of medicine.
Google has been lobbying Congress and the White House on the opioid crisis for the past six months, according to the company's most recent disclosures. During this time, the company spent more than $ 9.4 million