HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials are using a federal grant to install prescription drug collection boxes in pharmacies across the state.

The collection boxes would allow people to safely dispose of unused medication. State officials say it will help fight opioid abuse and prevent drug overdoses.

There are now 22 collection boxes in Montana's 360 pharmacies. The $730,000 grant will increase the number of boxes to 212.

Brian Chase/Thinkstock
Brian Chase/Thinkstock

The Journal of the American Medical Association says between 60 percent and 92 percent of people nationwide don't finish the painkillers prescribed to them, and less than 10 percent dispose of them safely.

Zoe Barnard of the state Department of Public Health and Human Services tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that officials want to make disposing of the drugs as easy as possible so people will actually do it.

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