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PHD hosts National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

| April 24, 2024 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — The Panhandle Health District, in collaboration with Blue Cross of Idaho, is hosting National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

PHD staff will accept all unused and expired medication in pill and liquid forms. The North Idaho Alliance of Care will also be participating in the event and will accept sharps that need disposed of and have their mobile HIV testing unit on site. Services are free and anonymous, no questions asked.

"All are welcome to drop by and dispose of unused medication and sharps safely,” said Makenna Hunziker, project coordinator at PHD and event coordinator, in a press release. “The Take Back Day is easy, free and provides an opportunity for community members to safely and securely dispose of unused, expired and unwanted prescription medications and help prevent substance misuse and overdose deaths.”

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, in 2021 the North Idaho region had two of the highest prescribing rates in the state.

And according to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 8.7 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription pain relievers in the past year. The survey also showed that 44.9% of misused prescription drugs were obtained from a friend or relative.

“Holding onto expired or unused prescription medications increases the risk of misuse,” Hunziker said.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene location of Blue Cross of Idaho, 1812 N. Lakewood Drive.