PHILADELPHIA, April 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a nationwide effort to clear homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription "Drug Take-Back Day" taking place this Saturday, April 26.
"Eliminating avoidable deaths and injuries has been and continues to be a priority for Independence Blue Cross," says Dr. Richard Snyder, Independence's chief medical officer. "We are committed to reducing the number of individuals who misuse, abuse or overdose from prescription drugs, while making sure that members have access to safe and effective treatment. We believe in enhancing the health and wellness of the communities we serve and proud to once again support the DEA's life-saving effort."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths from prescription drug overdoses have reached epidemic levels in the United States. And the financial toll of nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs. The national take-back effort seeks to raise awareness and reduce prescription drug abuse in our local communities by offering individuals and families a trouble-free and environmentally friendly way to rid their homes of unwanted prescriptions.
This year on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the DEA will offer more than 100 Take-Back locations across the Philadelphia region available for the public to dispose of their unwanted or expired prescriptions. The service is free and anonymous. For more information and to locate a collection site, area residents can visit www.dea.gov , click on "Got Drugs?" and enter their zip code.
Prescription medications are often found in home medicine cabinets, making it too easy for them to get in the wrong hands. In fact, according to the Partnership at Drugfree.org, more than four in ten teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug obtained it from their parents' medicine cabinet. Easier access to prescription drugs has contributed to drug overdoses becoming the leading cause of injury death in the United States.
Unfortunately, sometimes when prescription drugs are disposed of, they are flushed or thrown in the trash, which can pose additional safety risks to individuals and the environment. Take-Back Day participants can help protect their local agriculture and water supply since all drugs collected at Take-Back sites will be disposed of properly by local law enforcement or DEA officials.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 8.2 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
CONTACT: Karen Godlewski Independence Blue Cross 215-241-3113 Karen.Godlewski@ibx.com
Source:Independence Blue Cross