Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network support the Drug Enforcement Administration's Nationwide Prescription "Drug Take-Back Day"

Nationwide effort aims to clear homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs

April 25, 2012

DETROIT — In a nationwide effort to prevent medication abuse and to rid homes of unwanted and unnecessary prescription drugs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are proud to once again promote this worthwhile event," said James Lang, vice president of Pharmacy Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. "Not only does it provide our community with opportunities to safely and securely dispose of unused and expired medications, it also reinforces our goals of positively impacting the quality of people’s health."

Michigan will have more than 180 locations available for the public to dispose unwanted prescription drugs. In the 2011 spring and fall take-back days, Michigan locations collected 10,634 pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals. In the two-year history of the program, the DEA, in partnership with nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, collected close to 500 tons of pills.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2010 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The Partnership for a Drug Free America reports that each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time.

A study by the Journal of Pediatrics reports a 30 percent increase in emergency room visits for children under age 5 due to medication poisoning for the period 2001 to 2008. Experts say usual methods of disposing unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.  For more information and to find a collection site near you, visit the DEA’s website, dea.gov, and enter your zip code.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

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