17th DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a nationwide effort, sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs.
Our local Drug Take Back Day event, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, is a free public drug drop-off event hosted by a large community partnership at Baton Rouge Police headquarters. This year’s goal is to collect 1,000 pounds of unwanted and unused drugs—no questions asked—that will be disposed of safely by law enforcement.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
In Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters
9000 Airline Highway (corner of Airline and Goodwood)
Elsewhere in Louisiana: Visit takeback.dea.gov or call 1-800-882-9539 to find a nearby collection site. Louisiana residents may also visit bcbsla.com/safedrugdrop for a list of permanent drop-off boxes around the state. These boxes are placed through a partnership of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office, Blue Cross, local law enforcement agencies and the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators.
Presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and other partners of the Baton Rouge Health District, state and local law enforcement agencies and first responders.
More About Drug Take Back Day
- Drug Take Back Day is a nationwide event to help people safely and properly get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs. It is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
- The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors National Prescription Drug Take Back Day every year on the last Saturday in April.
- Any medications dropped off are properly and safely disposed of by law enforcement, helping to protect the environment and keep these drugs from getting into the wrong hands.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has supported at least one drop-off location every year since the event’s inception, buying advertising and providing signs and volunteers to help draw more people.
- In 2018, a partnership of the DEA, Blue Cross, state and local law enforcement, first responders and the Baton Rouge Health District sponsored a large Drug Take Back Day event to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic in Louisiana.
- In 2018, the partnership collected 600 pounds of unwanted drugs. The goal for 2019 is 1,000 pounds.
- Those living in and around Baton Rouge can take your expired, unused and unwanted drugs to the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters on Airline Highway at Goodwood (the former Woman’s Hospital location).
- DJs from Eagle 98.1 and 100.7 “The Tiger” will be there in person, playing music and giving out goodies to thank folks who drop by.
- Healthcare organizations, including Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, the Baton Rouge General and Woman’s Hospital, will have booths with health screenings, info and giveaways.
- Kids can check out police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance. The DEA mobile command center will be there, and the Acadian Ambulance AirMed helicopter is scheduled to make an appearance.
- Also scheduled to appear are members of the BRPD Mounted Patrol and the K-9 Unit.
The Problem of Opioids (and Other Addictive Drugs)
- Louisiana is one of eight states to have more opioid prescriptions written each year than we have people.
- Our drug overdose rate is higher than the national average. According to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, 780 residents die from opioid overdoses each year.
- Every day, Americans lose 120 family members and friends to an overdose—more than half by prescription drugs or heroin.
- 80 percent of new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers. Studies show that teenagers often get high for the first time on prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets.
- According to the CDC, drug overdoses now surpass automobile accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death for Americans between the ages of 25 and 64.
- Our state has seen deaths by drug overdose triple since 1999, and we are now in the top 10 states for drug overdose death rates.
- In New Orleans, overdose deaths are outpacing homicides.
- There is some good news. Thanks to Blue Cross’ revised opioid coverage policy, the number of prescriptions written and opioid pills, tablets or capsules dispensed in Louisiana has decreased by almost 20 percent in the first full year of the policy, and nearly 30 percent since 2016.
Why We Need a Drug Take Back Day
- Studies show that teenagers often get high for the first time on prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets.
- Younger children, the elderly and even pets can get very sick if they accidentally swallow medicines not meant for them.
- More than 70,000 emergency room visits each year result from medication accidents by children under age 18.
- Overall, adverse drug events cause more than 700,000 emergency room visits each year—so it’s best to clear out those old prescription drugs.
- The safest way to dispose of your unwanted prescription drugs is to bring them to a DEA collection site on the last Saturday in April.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.