Prescription opioid pain pills spilling out of medicine bottle

Help move the needle on the opioid crisis on Saturday, Oct. 23, which is Crush the Crisis Opioid Take Back Day.

Mission Health is partnering with local law enforcement agencies to host Crush the Crisis opioid take back events at five hospital locations.

Opioid misuse is a public health crisis in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 5% from 2018 to 2019 and has quadrupled since 1999. More than 70% of the 70,630 deaths in 2019 involved an opioid.

William Hathaway, MD, chief medical officer, Mission Health/HCA Healthcare North Carolina Division, said while the focus has been on COVID-19 pandemic over the past 18 months, it is critical to not lose site of the pre-existent and ongoing opioid crisis.

“We believe that one of the collateral damages of the pandemic is an exacerbation of the opioid crisis,” Hathaway said. “At Mission Health, we remain committed to doing everything possible to limit the supply of narcotics in our community including following national prescribing guidelines and using non-opioid pain control strategies for patients undergoing surgical procedures. In addition to limiting the supply, we remain committed to helping those with substance misuse and, in fact, have started a physician fellowship in addiction medicine.”

Mission’s Crush the Crisis events will align with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

On Saturday, unused and expired medications can be anonymously dropped off at the following locations:

• Mission Hospital

1 Hospital Drive, Asheville, NC 28801

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Angel Medical Center

120 Riverview Street, Franklin, NC 28734

9 a.m. to noon

• Blue Ridge Regional Hospital

125 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777

10 a.m. to noon

• Highland-Cashiers Hospital

190 Hospital Drive, Highlands, NC 28741

9 a.m. to noon

• Mission Hospital McDowell

430 Rankin Drive, Marion, NC 28752

10 a.m. to noon

The focus of the event is to collect tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana). However, any medications are accepted.

No needles, syringes, lancets, inhalers or liquids will be accepted.

To help keep members of communities safe, Crush the Crisis Opioid Take Back Day events will adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety protocols to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

To learn more, call 833-582-1970.

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