Seattle Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic that kills 44 people in the U.S., every day, and costs the nation more than $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs. More than 15.3 million people abuse prescription drugs in a given year; more than 70 percent of them get the drugs from a friend or family member, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

To help protect our families and communities and clear our homes of potentially dangerous, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, Regence BlueShield supports Drug Take-Back Day, organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

How to participate in Drug Take-Back Day:

When: Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: 41 collection sites, statewide – please visit and click on “Got Drugs?” for a location near you.

“Getting rid of unused, unwanted prescription drugs can help prevent accidental poisonings, especially in homes with young children, as well as potential abuse,” says Shirley Reitz, PharmD, pharmacist with OmedaRx. “Responsibly disposing of these drugs is an important part of the overall strategy of fighting prescription drug abuse.”

Additional opportunities to reduce abuse include; patient and provider education, prescription drug monitoring programs, and increased enforcement.

“As a member of the community Regence is committed to helping reduce and prevent prescription drug abuse by ensuring that our members are aware of the risks and have access to safe and effective treatment options,” said Don Antonucci, President of Regence BlueShield.

Take-Back Day is free and anonymous, and helps protect families, our community, as well as the environment by preventing unwanted drugs from being flushed down the toilet or dumped in the trash.

About Regence BlueShield

Regence BlueShield has been serving Washingtonians in select counties for nearly a century and now provides more than 1.1 million members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit, or