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CVS Health reminds consumers to safely dispose unused medications

CVS Health is urging patients to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of unused prescription medication on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 27.

CVS Health has installed safe medication disposal units in more than 750 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide and has donated more than 900 additional units to such community locations as police departments.

These units have collected more than 217 metric tons, or 480,000 pounds, of unwanted medication. Additionally, on Oct. 27, nearly 100 CVS Pharmacy locations will join other community sites around the country to host law enforcement take-back events, allowing the public to safely dispose of unwanted medication. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is hosted biannually by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, to provide an opportunity for Americans to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

"CVS Health is dedicated to helping address and prevent prescription drug abuse and misuse, which is why we have worked to increase access to and awareness of safe medication disposal options in the communities we serve," CVS Pharmacy vice president of professional services Tom Davis said in a statement. "Unused medications, especially opioids, should not be left in medicine cabinets where they could be at risk of misuse or diversion. We are proud to have supported the collection of more than 480,000 pounds of unwanted medication to date, getting it out of homes and disposed of safely, and we are looking forward to adding to that achievement."

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescriptions and often obtained them from family and friends. In-home medicine cabinets are often the source of diverted prescriptions, making it critical for patients to properly dispose of unused prescriptions in a timely manner to prevent prescription misuse and diversion.
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