Google Announces Effort to Help Fight the American Opioid Epidemic
By Zachary Freedman, BS
Susan Molinari, Vice President of Public Policy for Google of America, released a statement April 25, 2018, addressing the nations opioid epidemic and Google’s plans to help fight in whatever way it can. It seems that the search engine giant has seen millions of searches containing the words “drug addiction”, “opioid addiction”, and “drug rehabs” from all over the country, making the deadly health crisis completely omnipresent to the tech juggernaut.
This is not the first time Google has made a strategic move in combating its undeniably important role in fighting our nations opioid crisis. Last year they halted a vast majority of their paid advertisements to drug and alcohol treatment centers in an effort to crack down on unethical treatment referral services posing as actual treatment centers.
This time, Google has teamed up with the DEA using its Google Maps technology to create a locator tool to help find safe prescription medication disposal centers across the country. This comes just in time for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day that falls on Saturday, April 28.
The federal government’s research has shown prescription drug abuse to be a large driving force behind the opioid epidemic and that drugs are often obtained from the medicine cabinet of friends or family. The DEA has found that one way to prevent abuse from ever occurring is for unneeded or expired prescription drugs to be properly disposed of.
In addition to the locator tool, Google announced a $750,000 gift/grant to the non-profit organization, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. These funds will be allocated to expand the Parent Helpline which provides free counseling and advice to parents combatting their child’s substance abuse.
This is just a small step in the right direction for Google and one can only hope that their team has plans of expansion and that other influential industries make an effort to help fight this epidemic that affects us all. Opioid overdose has claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives within the past decade and the yearly toll continues to rise. This national health crisis is the single greatest threat to life, liberty, and pursuit to happiness.
Although we have lost so many, there is still so many to save and so much work to be done. Thank you Google for taking a stance on this grave situation, we need all the help we can get.
Below is the link for Google’s locator tool. Please click to locate your nearest disposal center and participate in the Drug take Back Day April 28, 2018!