Macon, GA — The numbers are staggering: More than 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose and more than half of the people who misuse these drugs get them or steal them from someone they know. That's why Coliseum Northside Hospital in Macon and Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin are looking to Crush the Crisis by holding simultaneous Medication Take Back events on Saturday, September 7 from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
Coliseum Northside Hospital will hold the medication take back event in conjunction with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office on the hospital's campus located at 400 Charter Blvd in Macon. Anyone wishing to drop off old, expired or unwanted drugs can do so near the Emergency Room without even getting out of their car. All donors will receive a free medication safety item in return.
Fairview Park Hospital will host a medication take back event in conjunction with the Laurens County Sheriff's Office. This event will be held in the Therapy Center parking lot at Fairview Park Hospital located at 200 Industrial Blvd in Dublin.
Both medication take back events will accept all unwanted, unused or expired medication, but both hospitals say that a big goal is to dispose of excess opioids.
Dr. Richard Rubio, Chief Medical Officer for Coliseum Health System, said "There are often leftover pills that aren't taken, whether it be because the drugs aren't needed anymore or in circumstances when patient passes away and leftover medications remain. Medication take back events like this are important opportunities to help rid the community of excess pills, many of which may be narcotics. Together, we can Crush The Crisis!"
These events at Coliseum Northside Hospital and Fairview Park Hospital are among several medication take back events being held across the country by HCA Healthcare facilities. With 185 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care, HCA Healthcare is committed to curbing the tide of opioid misuse and addiction.
"Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue that can lead to accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose," says Dr. George Harrison, Chief Medical Officer at Fairview Park Hospital. "Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and helps to protect our friends and neighbors in the community."
What are opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs used to treat active and chronic pain and are often prescribed following surgery, injury or for health conditions such as cancer.
- Common types of prescription opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine and methadone
- Other opiates include fentanyl and heroin
Why are opioids addictive?
Opioid medications bind to the areas of the brain that control pain and emotions, driving levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine in the brain's reward areas and producing an intense feeling of euphoria. As the brain becomes used to the feelings, it often takes more and more of the drug to produce the same levels of pain relief and well-being, leading to dependence and, later, addiction.