A Guide to National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Illegal drug abuse gets a lot of attention, but rates of prescription drug abuse are also alarmingly high.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. And many people are getting their pills through friends or relatives, often by raiding the family medicine cabinet.

These very serious trends prompted the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to create National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in 2010. The idea: Offer a safe and anonymous way for people to get rid of expired or unwanted medications. The program has led to the collection of more than 9.9 million pounds of prescription drugs nationally since its start – that’s 4,982 tons.

As the state’s largest health insurers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are committed to improving the value and quality of life in communities across Michigan. As a part of this commitment, BCBSM and BCN have supported the DEA’s Drug Take-Back Day since 2011. Learn below how you can participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, happening this fall on Saturday, Oct. 27.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, join us for a Twitter chat in partnership with the Michigan State Medical Society about Drug Take Back Day. We’ll be tweeting on the @BCBSM Twitter page from 12 to 1 p.m. EST about the importance of disposing of your medications correctly. 

How can I get involved?
The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day takes place nationally every fall and spring. All you need to do is take your unused or expired prescriptions to one of the designated drop-off locations throughout Michigan.

When does it take place?
The DEA will hold the fall National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Why drop off my prescription drugs? Can’t I just throw them away
Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. And unused drugs that are flushed down the toilet contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.

Why not hold on to the medicine in case I need it in the future?
Keeping your home free of expired and unwanted prescription medicine — and actually locking up the ones you keep — reduces the potential of prescription drug abuse within your home. Roughly 15 percent of high school seniors used a prescription drug non-medically in the past year and most of those teens reported that they got the prescription drugs from their home medicine cabinets or from friends.

Addiction doesn’t discriminate based on your social, racial or educational status. It doesn’t care how much money you make or what ZIP code you live in. Learn more about fellow Michiganders affected by prescription drug abuse here.

Photo credit: wp paarz

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