Parkridge Health System announced Thursday that it is hosting its third annual opioid take back event to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and proper disposal of medications on Saturday, Oct. 23, at Parkridge East Hospital.
Called “Crush the Crisis,” the event aligns with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and invites community members to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired prescription medications. The hospital is working in partnership with the Hamilton County Coalition, law enforcement officials and other local businesses and organizations to provide safe disposal locations on that date.
“Crush the Crisis” will take place at Parkridge East Hospital, 941 Spring Creek Road in Chattanooga, in the front parking area. Signage will be present.
Local law enforcement officers will be on hand collecting tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana). All medications are accepted. Needles, syringes, lancets, inhalers or liquids will not be accepted. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place at the event, including masking and social distancing.
“Opioid addiction is a national health crisis, and it is imperative that we get unused pain medications out of homes where they can more easily end up in the wrong hands,” said Sara Connaughton, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Parkridge East Hospital. “We invite you to join us for this year’s ‘Crush the Crisis’ to properly dispose of unused medications and help us educate our community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70,630 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2019, with more than 70 percent attributed to opioids. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. is seeing an increase in opioid usage, and it is possible that a significant number of opioid addictions and overdose deaths come from individuals accessing unused opioids prescriptions of family and friends.
“Parkridge East Hospital is happy to join our fellow HCA hospitals across the nation Oct. 23 to host this important initiative to curb opioid abuse in the community,” Will Windham, Parkridge East Hospital CEO, said. “Disposing of expired or unused medications properly and safely could mean saving a life.”
Parkridge East Hospital is participating as part of HCA Healthcare’s third annual national “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day. In October 2020, 95 HCA Healthcare facilities in 18 states collected 13,523 pounds of unused and expired prescription medications at “Crush the Crisis” events around the country.
For more information, visit ParkridgeHealth.com/Crush the Crisis or call 833-582-1970.