; Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas City Supports The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nationwide Prescription “Drug Take-Back Day”
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Press Release

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas City Supports The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nationwide Prescription “Drug Take-Back Day”

Event promotes awareness about prescription drug abuse and proper disposal

October 24, 2013

KANSAS CITY – In a nationwide effort to clear homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs,Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) is supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day taking place this Saturday, October 26. This nationally recognized day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue by preventing the abuse or misuse of unwanted prescriptions by helping people remove them from their homes and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, deaths related to prescription drug abuse now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined. Unlike illicit drugs, prescription medications are often found in home medicine cabinets, making it easier for the drugs 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. When prescription drugs are disposed of, they are frequently flushed or thrown in the trash, which can pose additional hazards to individuals and the environment.

“At Blue KC, we are committed to improving the health and wellness of the community we serve. Whether the issue is drug abuse, or improper disposal leading to ground and water contamination, it is important that we take the steps to properly discard prescription drugs,” said Wayne Powell, Vice President of Executive Services and Chief of Staff of Blue KC.

This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Blue KC and the DEA will encourage Kansas City residents to help curb prescription drug abuse and misuse in their communities by dropping off their unwanted or expired prescriptions at more than 80 locations across the Kansas City metro. Take-Back Day participants will also help protect their local agriculture and water supply as all drugs collected at Take-Back sites will be properly incinerated by local law enforcement or DEA officials.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was initiated in 2010 and is held biannually in the spring and the fall. Since its inception, Take-Back Day has been extremely successful in educating the public about prescription drug abuse, misuse and proper disposal. During this year’s spring Take-Back Day on April 27, 2013, 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications were collected from Americans across the county.

When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.

For more information about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and to locate a collection site, Kansas City are residents can visit www.dea.gov and click on “Got Drugs?” Take-Back day is free and anonymous.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. *Ranked by J.D. Power and Associates in 2013 as “Highest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in the Heartland Region, Two Years in a Row,” Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area's leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com

 * Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City received the highest numerical score among commercial health plans in the Heartland region (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE, OK) in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2012-2013 U.S. Member Health Plan StudySM.  2013 study based on 33,533 total member responses, measuring 11 plans in the Heartland Region (excludes Medicare and Medicaid). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of members surveyed December 2012-January 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.