October 11, 2021
West Hills, CA, — West Hills Hospital & Medical Center announced today that it is hosting its first opioid take back event to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and proper disposal of medications on Saturday, October 23, 2021. Called “Crush the Crisis,” the event aligns with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and invites community members to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired prescription medications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70,630 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2019, with more than 70% 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. Insert local statistic on opioid-related death rates in the state.
“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 Donald David, MD, chief medical officer of West Hills Hospital. “We invite you to join us for this year’s ‘Crush the Crisis’ to properly dispose of your unused medications and help us in educating the community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”
Law enforcement officers from the Los Angeles Police Department 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). All medications are accepted, however 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.
To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of West Hills Hospital, proudly partners with and provides clinical insight to the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. HCA Healthcare has committed $750,000 to the Collaborative to support the development of safer pain management protocols and reversal of the opioid crisis.
As a learning health system, HCA Healthcare uses data from approximately 32 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care. The organization uses 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): a multi-modal approach to pain management that has demonstrated significant improvements in surgical recovery and a drastic reduction in the use of opioids. HCA Healthcare data from 86,820 joint replacement, gynecologic oncology, colorectal and bariatric surgeries using ESR in 2020 revealed an up to 26 percent reduction in opioid usage for these patients. As of August 2021, ESR is live at 168 HCA Healthcare facilities, with the goal to make ESR the standard of care for all service lines.
- Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS): aims to stem increasing rates of opioid-related addiction, misuse diversion and death by making it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop and alter prescriptions. Physicians have access to aggregated electronic health record (EHR) providing data that will allow them to prescribe opioids judiciously.
“Crush the Crisis” will take place at West Hills Hospital at 7300 Medical Center Drive. Please follow the event signage for the Drive-Up Collection site in the parking lot behind the facility. For more information, visit the campaign website or call toll free number at (833) 582-1970.