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Save a life. Bring your unused medication to our Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in Meridian.

In the relentless grip of the opioid epidemic, a surge of tragedies has changed our communities, destroyed families, and taken lives.

Since 2000, the United States has seen a dramatic rise in drug overdose-related deaths, including prescription opioids. According to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug-involved overdoses have doubled since 2015, with approximately 107,000 people dying from a drug-involved overdose.

Opioid-related deaths aren’t just in the streets of Stockton or the alleyways of Portland, but rather, opioid death touches the lives of everyone in our community. These numbers are rising as the opioid epidemic continues to affect communities across the country — and Idaho is not immune. According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, in 2022, there were 270 opioid-related deaths across the state and 755 emergency room visits relating to an opioid overdose emergency.

Opioids are often referred to as narcotics and are medications that doctors prescribe to alleviate pain. There are many types of prescribed opioids, such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine. They are used by people of all ages and walks of life for those suffering from ailments, recovering from an injury or surgery, and needing relief from pain. As we have seen the opioid epidemic sweep across the country, we know opioids can be highly addictive and highly devastating.

When opioids are used to manage pain for long periods, the risk of addiction rises. A prolonged period of taking opioids puts a person at risk of relying on the drug for survival. This problem is more common than it seems, with opioid overdoses taking the lives of 90 people by accident daily, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Idaho’s youth is no exception to this epidemic. According to the Idaho Healthy Youth Survey, most Idaho students do not misuse prescription drugs. However, of those that do, 72.8% of them said they misuse pain relievers, 30.7% misuse depressants and 30.7% misuse stimulants. Additionally, students who misuse prescription drugs say they do so within their own homes.

Blue Cross of Idaho and the Meridian Anti-Drug Coalition are proud to partner for the sixth time to host Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Since 2018, our annual partnership has safely disposed of approximately 1.9 tons of unwanted medication.

On April 27, 2024, bring all your old, expired and unwanted medications to Blue Cross of Idaho’s headquarters in Meridian to safely dispose of these substances. Our event is an opportunity to clean out that medicine cabinet and see what is expired and should be disposed of before possibly getting into the wrong hands. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted that take-back programs are the best way to dispose of unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines safely.

Opioid addiction and abuse know no bounds to who it affects; addiction does not discriminate, affecting all ages and backgrounds. It is a disease that affects families, friends, neighbors and people we love, and maybe has affected us personally.

Join us in making a positive and long-lasting effect on our community and potentially saving a life by turning in your household prescription medications.

Our take-back site is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27 and in Blue Cross of Idaho’s parking lot. We hope to see you there.