Salt Lake City – 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 BlueCross BlueShield of Utah supports ‘Drug Take-Back Day’ organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Utah residents can drop off their unwanted or expired prescriptions at more than 45 locations statewide.
“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.”
Other ways to reduce abuse include patient and provider education, prescription drug monitoring programs, and increased enforcement, she adds.
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. Take-Back Day is free and anonymous, and helps protect our families, as well as the environment by preventing unwanted drugs from being flushed down the toilet or dumped in the trash.
For more information about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and to locate a collection site, visit www.dea.gov and click on “Got Drugs?”
About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, based in Salt Lake City, is the state’s first health insurer and now provides nearly 465,000 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 in Utah and nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regenceutah, or twitter.com/regenceutah.