Blues Support National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 30

Like many people, you probably have some prescription or over-the-counter drugs lying around your medicine cabinet that are expired or you long ago stopped using. An event this weekend offers an easy and safer way to get rid of unused pharmaceuticals than flushing them down the toilet or leaving them some place where they might get stolen.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s second Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day takes place Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with more than 4,700 drop-off sites across the country. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked of participants.

The DEA will accept all prescription and over-the-counter tablets and capsules, but not liquids, intravenous solutions or injectables. As of last week, the DEA listed 203 collection sites in Michigan. You can find one here.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to support this initiative to help prevent pill theft and abuse, a huge problem in the U.S.

The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more Americans abuse prescription drugs than use cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined. The survey also found that 53 million Americans aged 12 and older reported non-medical use of prescription drugs at some point in their life.

Want another good reason to safely dispose of pharmaceuticals? It prevents them from ending up in public sources of drinking water, where few water treatment facilities are equipped to adequately filter out the chemicals they contain.

During the first take-back event in September 2010, Americans turned in more than 245,000 pounds — 121 tons — of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites. Michigan residents contributed nearly 6,700 pounds, or 3.3 tons.

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