Google has partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to identify places where people can safely order prescription drugs on their Maps platform, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.
The search giant wrote that prescription drugs are a driver of opioid addiction and that "the majority of abused prescription drugs are received by family or friends, often from a medicine cabinet – something that is supported by medical studies. According to Google, they partnered with DEA to introduce the feature ahead of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 28, which is designed to encourage people to bring their leftover medicines to disposal sites:
Using the Google Maps API, our Team worked with DEA to create a locator tool for the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 28th. The Locator tool can help anyone find a place near them to safely dispose of spilled prescription medicines. Click on the image below to access the locator and enter an address or zip code to find nearby Take Back Day events this Saturday to combat the opioid epidemic.
Here is a GIF of the feature in action: 19659006] Google's prescription drug tracking device
Opioid deaths have soared across the country in recent years, reaching 63,632 people a year 2016 drug overdoses have died, including 42,249 at least one opioid. Synthetic opioids other than methadone, which tend to be much stronger than non-synthetic ones, caused 10,375 deaths this year.
As research shows that many opioid users start with prescription drugs, which are often prescribed by a doctor who recommends using pills or other prescription medications before the temptation to use them sounds helpful. It's probably also good for the environment, since injecting pharmaceuticals into waterways is a major source of pollution (though the Federal Drug Administration guesses that scientists attribute this primarily to the body-borne drugs).
So The new Google Maps feature is harmless enough! But it's worth noting that, despite Donald Trump's White House's vague commitment to solving the opioid crisis, law enforcement agencies like the DEA have doubled their failed "hard crime," while most Americans have recognized this as a public health approach is better. The president himself is reportedly in favor of the drug tactics of the [ReeferMadness variety and the execution of drug dealers, so too.