WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of a nationwide effort to prevent medication abuse, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware (BCBSD) is supporting National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and taking place on Saturday, October 29.
"Unused prescription medicines that remain in homes can be misused or abused if they are not handled properly," said Paul Kaplan, M.D., BCBSD Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. "BCBSD continues to make patient safety a health care priority and encourages all Delawareans to take part in this nationwide event to safely dispose of their unused prescription drugs."
More than seven 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. Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, and often come from the home medicine cabinet.
A study by the Journal of Pediatrics reports a 30 percent increase in emergency department visits for children under age five due to medication poisoning for the period of 2001 to 2008. In addition, it's noted that the usual methods of disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential environmental and health hazards.
The DEA will have twelve locations across Delaware available for the public to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs from 10 AM-2 PM on October 29. There is no charge for the service. For more information or to find a collection site near you, visit dea.gov, click on Got Drugs? You can then click on Find a collection site near you and enter your zip code.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. With more than 75 years of service, BCBSD offers a comprehensive portfolio of health benefits products to nearly 395,000 customers. BCBSD is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about BCBSD is available at bcbsde.com.
For more information:
Gail Street, Public Relations Manager
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware