Over the past several years, opioid overdoses have consumed the news and, unfortunately, seem to be happening more and more. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2017, there were 1,014 overdose deaths involving opioids in Georgia – a rate of 9.7 deaths per 100,000 Georgians.
While the dangers of opioids are real, the efforts to fight against overdoses are also real. Eastside Medical Center is teaming up with the Snellville Police Department to host “Crush the Crisis,” and opioid take back event. Volunteers will be collecting tablets, capsules, and patches of various drugs and medical treatments such as Morphine and Codeine, while law enforcement officers will be on-site to assist with the collection and disposal of unused medications from 10 am until 2 pm.
“Opioid addiction is a growing crisis not only in Gwinnett County, but across our nation,” said Dr. Stephen Higgins, Chief Medical Officer at Eastside Medical Center. “Our goal for ‘Crush the Crisis’ is to raise awareness of the dangers of opioid addiction and educate our community about the proper disposal of these medications. Opioid addiction can happen to anyone and we are providing this drop off opportunity confidentially and anonymously.”
Eastside Medical Center is participating as part of HCA Healthcare’s first national “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day. More than 65 HCA Healthcare facilities across 15 states are uniting to collect unused or expired opioids for one day.
To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of EMC, is partnering 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.
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, meaning 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.
“Crush the Crisis” will take place outside of Eastside Medical Center’s Main Campus Emergency Department entrance at 1700 Medical Way in Snellville.