DURHAM, N.C. -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) in partnership with Mutual Drug, is hosting drop-off locations throughout the state as part of National Take Back Day to battle the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.

On April 28, National Take Back Day, Blue Cross NC is providing an easy opportunity for members in Buncombe, Durham, New Hanover, McDowell and Wake Counties to drop off unused prescription medications to help end opioid abuse and prevent drug addiction. Properly disposing of unwanted, unused or expired medications helps prevent drug abuse, addiction, drug theft from home, and accidental ingestion by children, elderly adults and family pets.                                           

Blue Cross NC’s support of National Take Back Day is a part its of ongoing efforts to combat North Carolina’s opioid epidemic. Earlier this year, Blue Cross NC announced a commitment of $10 million and key policy changes to address the opioid epidemic.

“Many don’t realize that our own home medicine cabinets could be fueling today’s opioid epidemic. That’s where family and friends often get access to the majority of abused prescription drugs,” said Dr. Anuradha Rao-Patel, pain management specialist and medical director for Blue Cross NC. “Consumers can be a big part of the solution by marking their calendars to review unused prescription drugs regularly and disposing of them properly. We hope these convenient drop off locations will make this easier for our customers to do this.”

In 2016, opioids were dispensed to North Carolina residents at a rate of more than 65 pills for every man, woman and child in the state.[1] The opioid epidemic has become North Carolina’s largest public health crisis – as of 2017, unintentional poisoning deaths will surpass motor vehicle deaths as the leading cause of injury death in the state.[2] Since 2013, the company’s efforts have lowered opioid prescriptions by 16 percent. These efforts include providing risk screening and education, contacting providers with significantly higher rates of opioids prescribing, monitoring for patients who “prescription shop,” and running a 24-hour member opioid help line.

“Together with Blue Cross NC and local law enforcement, independent and locally owned pharmacies are committed to doing their part to end this epidemic that is affecting communities across North Carolina,” said Mutual Drug’s Director of Pharmacy Professional Services Gray Stewart.

Blue Cross NC and Mutual Drug are hosting secure, drop off locations at the following pharmacies:

Durham County

Triangle Pharmacy

1700 Hwy 54, Durham, NC 27713

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm.

Wake County

Falls River Pharmacy

10930 Raven Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27614

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm.

Buncombe County

Asheville Pharmacy

76 Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

New Hanover County

Winter Park Pharmacy

5220 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm.

McDowell County

McDowell Family Pharmacy

2668 Hwy 70 West, Marion, NC 28752

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

For more information, visit TakeBackDayNC.com

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities through innovative health care products, insurance, services and information to more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.




[1] Rate of Outpatient Opioid Pills Dispensed by County per North Carolina resident. (2016). NC Division of Mental Health, Controlled Substance Reporting System. Retrieved April 24, 2018.

[2] Death Rates for Two Selected Causes of Injury. (2016). N.C. State Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics-Deaths, 199-2016. Retrieved April 24, 2018.