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Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania Supports DEA’s Nationwide “Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” on September 29

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
September 20, 2012

Wilkes-Barre, PA —As part of a nationwide effort to prevent medication abuse and rid homes of unwanted and unnecessary prescription drugs, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) is supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, taking place on Saturday, September 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Taking medications after they expire is ineffective and may even be dangerous,” said Dr. Nina Taggart, BCNEPA’s vice president of clinical operations and Chief Medical Officer.  “We at Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania are helping to raise awareness about Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day because it is a convenient and responsible way to dispose of expired and unused drugs.”

The DEA and local law enforcement will have more than 30 locations across northeastern and north central Pennsylvania available on Saturday, September 29, for the public to drop off unwanted prescription drugs.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.  For more information and to find a collection site near you, visit, click on the “Got Drugs?” banner, and then click on “Find a collection site near you” and enter your zip code.

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. And the Partnership for a Drug Free America also reports that one in five teenagers will have abused prescription painkillers by their senior year of high school.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.  Plus, the usual methods of disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – pose safety, health and environmental hazards.

DEA previously conducted National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days in April and October of 2011 and April of 2012.  Nationwide, nearly 1.5 million pounds of unwanted and expired medications have been removed from circulation through these previous events.

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations we serve.