PASADENA Calif., — Kaiser Permanente Southern California, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement agencies, is encouraging residents to participate in the seventh “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prescription drug take-back programs provide local residents with an opportunity to safely and easily dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines.
“The DEA’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day program is part of the broader White House prescription drug abuse prevention strategy,” said Paula Barton, vice president, National Pharmacy Compliance, National Pharmacy Programs and Services, Kaiser Permanente. “Events like this not only address a crucial public safety and public health issue, but they also bring awareness and serve as an educational opportunity.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from the use of prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels in the past decade. Nearly 15,000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers. Properly storing and disposing of prescription medication can reduce the number of people who misuse, abuse or overdose from these powerful drugs.
“This program has been a tremendous success,” said Alan Kiyohara, vice president, Pharmacy Operations and Services, Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Just this past spring, our Southern California facilities collected over 3,300 pounds of expired or unwanted medicines. By properly disposing of prescription drugs, we eliminate expired or unwanted medication that can otherwise pose a hazard to the safety of children, families, local communities and the environment.”
Kaiser Permanente medical centers throughout Southern California will serve as collection sites for disposal of expired, unwanted and unused medicines. Residents can bring their medications for disposal to any of the listed Kaiser Permanente medical centers. The service is free, easy and anonymous.
If residents are unable to participate on Oct. 26, they can also purchase “mail back” postage-paid envelopes available at Kaiser Permanente and many other pharmacies.
For more information about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, or for a list of additional collection sites, please visit dea.gov. Information about medication safety is also available on the DEA website, or at kp.org.
About Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 3.6 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.