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Is your medicine cabinet a danger to others?

Saving unused prescription drugs for future use is a potentially harmful practice. In Arizona, between July 15, 2017 and September 17, 2021, there have been 78,383 suspected opioid overdoses and 10,482 suspected opioid deaths in Arizona. Studies show that the most abused prescription medications are taken from family and friends’ home medicine cabinets.

The good news is it’s easy to remove the danger in your home and safely dispose of any unnecessary medications. This month, in honor of Red Ribbon Week, which focuses on drug prevention awareness for kids (October 23-31), and Drug Take Back Day (October 23), we have tips on how everyone can make a difference.   

Swing by a drug take-back kiosk

Visit a drug take-back kiosk to dispose of unused or expired prescription medications. Disposing of these medications means they won’t be in the house where children, visitors, or pets might find them. Plus, you’ll be protecting the environment from toxic medications going in the trash or down the drain.

How to find a drug take-back kiosk

Visit Arizona Department of Health Services’ website Rx Drug Drop Off Locations and use the map to find a safe medication disposal location. You can search by city or ZIP code. The list includes local pharmacies, fire stations, and police departments, which have secure kiosks where you can return unused drugs.

Take action

Mobilize AZ — Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona’s (BCBSAZ) public health initiative to prevent and address opioid and substance use disorder, boost mental health, and combat diabetes — makes it easy to work together to make Arizona healthier. Safe and easy drug disposal is a small way that you can play a big part in protecting the health of our community.

In addition, take some time to find a Red Ribbon Week virtual event to participate in and promote substance misuse prevention among youth. The theme is “Drug Free Looks Like Me” and there are many ways to take action in support of the cause. 
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This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.