Do you flush unwanted or expired prescription drugs down the toilet or throw them in the trash? Perhaps they are forgotten in your home medicine cabinet. If so, plan to rid your home of those medications on Saturday, April 26, in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Unused or expired medication left in the medicine cabinet can be at risk for misuse, abuse or even theft. More than four in 10 teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug obtained it from their parents’ medicine cabinet, according to the Partnership at Drugfree.org.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) and the DEA encourage North Dakotans to drop off their unwanted or expired prescription medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 26 at more than 25 locations across North Dakota.
BCBSND also addresses the growing problem of drug abuse with leaders throughout the state on the Reducing Pharmaceutical Narcotics in Our Communities Task Force.
You can make a difference!
- Help protect local agriculture and water supply. All drugs collected at Take-Back sites will be disposed of properly by local law enforcement or DEA officials.
- Curb drug abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs.
How to participate
- Visit www.dea.gov and click on “Got Drugs?” to find the nearest location. In Fargo, Take-Back disposal containers are located in the lobby of the police department.
- Check out the state’s year-round prescription drug disposal program. As of March 2014, 6,620 pounds of unwanted and unused medications have been collected and destroyed in North Dakota through the program.
Denise Pinkney is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.