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Promoting Safe Prescription Drug Disposal on National Take Back Day

Prescription drug use has led to longer lives and much needed relief for many Americans. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that a majority of Americans (59 percent) believe prescription drugs developed over the past 20 years have generally made the lives of people in the U.S. better – with nearly four in ten saying they have made people’s lives “a lot better.”


When taking your prescription drugs, it is imperative to follow your physician’s instructions and take the prescriptions in the correct dosage. There are instances where you may need to stop taking a prescription entirely or switch to a different prescription. This may be due to adverse side effects, allergic reactions or perhaps a lower dosage is needed.


Whatever the reason may be, ensure you’re properly disposing of the prescription drugs.


Dangers can come with unused prescriptions lying around the house – in fact, the National Institute of Health found that more than 18 million people misused prescription medications at least once in 2017. Rather than leaving expired or unused prescriptions in your medicine cabinet, take the necessary measures to properly dispose of them so they don’t end up in the wrong hands.


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is helping with this public health problem with its Take Back Day, a bi-annual event that encourages Americans to safely dispose of the unused prescription drugs in their home. The first Take Back Day of 2019 will be held on April 27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at select collection sites nationwide. During this time, everyone is encouraged to safely clean out their medicine cabinets – and even check in with family members on prescription drugs they may have stopped using.


Previous Take Back Days have been incredibly successful. The 16th National Take Back Day, held in October of 2018, saw participation from 4,770 law enforcement officials at 5,839 sites in all 50 states collecting 914,216 pounds of unused prescription drugs.


A more informed public is a healthier public, and to help share widespread knowledge of the dangers of prescription drug abuse, the DEA has created materials and web pages with relevant information including a list of drug scheduling and penalties, a tool to find disposal centers year round, how to dispose of unused medicine and a confidential treatment-center locator.


To learn more about your prescriptions, their side effects, what you should ask your doctor before you begin taking a new drug, what to do if you miss a dose, how to take your drugs and more, visit the Prescription Information page from Community Cares Rx. This page can enable you to have productive conversations with your doctor and help you get the most benefits from all your prescriptions.


To learn more about consumer prescription savings programs that deliver real results for pharmacies and the community at large, please visit

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