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To battle opioid crisis, Google is together with gov’t, big pharma, to help

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Google expands its efforts to combat America’s opioid crisis, an epidemic that the lives of more than 130 people every day, by announcing the partnership with the federal and local governments and private healthcare companies.

In a blog post on Thursday, the tech giant said it would team up with the (Drug Enforcement Administration), the Department of Health and Human Services, CVS, Walgreens and a number of governments of the member states to bring drug disposal locations in Google Maps throughout the year.

“By the opioid disposal site information from Google Maps, the Americans are only a search away from the help to address the opioid crisis,” Ed Simcox, HHS Chief Technology Officer, said. “This type of consumer empowerment–providing easily accessible data–is the nature of the innovation that is necessary to improvement of health care.”

GOOGLE RAMPS UP ITS EFFORTS TO ADDRESS AMERICA’S OPIOID CRISIS

Users will be able to type in searches like “drug drop-off near me” or “medication disposal near me” and Google Maps is shown permanent disposal locations in places such as a local pharmacy, hospital, or in a building of the government. In the first instance, from 3,500 locations in 7 states (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania) will be available, and then the initiative will grow in time.

(Credit: Google)

In January, Google said it saw searches for “medication available for me in near” come to an all-time high, but it has no information about the exact number.

(Credit: Google Trends)

In April 2018, Google first said it would bring drug disposal locations on Google Maps. In October, Google extension of the package to work with Walgreens and the development of a tool in Google Maps to help people get rid of medicines that are no longer needed, by entering their zip code on an interactive map to find the nearest Take Back site.

Opioid addiction is possible after only five days of use, with 53 percent of the drug abuse to begin with drugs obtained from friends and family, that places an emphasis on “help[ing] people to safely remove excess or non-opioids from their medicine cabinets,” Dane Glasglow, VP of Product, Google Maps, wrote in the blog.

In October, President Donald Trump signed a two-fold opioid bill that aims to curb the crisis, the deadly epidemic of overdose deaths in the history of the country. Nearly 48,000 people died in 2017 from an overdose involving opioids. Overall, U.S. drug overdose have started to level off, but officials say it is too early to declare victory.

A PORTABLE DEVICE TAPS TECH TO FIGHT OPIOID ADDICTION

The legislation will add, treatment options, and the us Postal Service to screen overseas packages for a synthetic form of opioid called fentanyl that is delivered, primarily from China.

The Obama administration secured a commitment to expand treatment and Congress provided $1 billion in the form of grants to the states. Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency, and two large funding accounts have passed under his watch.

Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this story.

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