Parkridge Medical Center will host “Crush the Crisis,” its annual opioid take-back event on Saturday. In partnership with the Hamilton County Coalition and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, law enforcement officers will be on-site to assist with the collection and disposal of unused medications from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
In 2018, the latest year for which opioid-related mortality statistics are available, there were 550 overdose deaths involving opioids in Tennessee, according to the CDC. This number represents a nearly 15 percent decrease from the previous year, and Parkridge Health System offers alternatives to opioid pain medication and addiction counseling and services to help communities continue to reduce opioid addiction in the area.
Volunteers will be collecting tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana). Needles, syringes, lancets or liquids will not be accepted.
Parkridge Medical Center is participating as part of HCA Healthcare’s annual national “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day. More than 65 HCA Healthcare facilities across 14 states are uniting to collect unused or expired opioids.
“While the mortality rate associated with opioid overdose has declined in the past years, we still have a long way to go,” said Jim Cunningham, MD, emergency medicine physician at Parkridge Medical Center. “Our goal for ‘Crush the Crisis’ is to continue raising awareness of the dangers of opioid addiction and assisting our community in the proper disposal of these medications – no questions asked.”
To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of Parkridge Medical Center, partners with the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, consisting of more than 50 organizations that share best practices and identify gaps in the safe treatment of opioid addiction.
A learning health system, which uses data from approximately 31 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care, HCA Healthcare has been using the science of “big data” to reduce opioid misuse and transform pain management, with initiatives in surgical, emergency and other care settings, including:
• Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR)/ALTernatives to Opioids in the Emergency Room (ALTO in the ER): HCA Healthcare focuses on a multi-modal approach to acute pain management. This means two or more methods or medications are used to reduce the need to use opioids to manage a patient’s pain while recovering from surgery or in the emergency room.
• Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS): Physicians have access to aggregated electronic health records that make it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop or alter prescriptions. ECPS is available across HCA Healthcare.
“Crush the Crisis” will take place at Parkridge Medical Center, 2333 McCallie Ave. in Chattanooga, in the Plaza 2 parking lot. For more information, visit ParkridgeHealthSystem.com or contact MedLine at 423-622-6848.