Lewisgale Regional Health System Hosts “Crush the Crisis” Opioid Take Back Day on October 23

Event corresponds with DEA Take Back Day to educate community about safe, proper disposal of opioids


LewisGale Regional Health Systems employees and law enforcement officials host annual “Crush the Crisis” Opioid Take Back Day on October 23. (LewisGale photo)

SALEM  – LewisGale Regional Health System Hospitals, including LewisGale Medical Center, LewisGale Hospital Alleghany, LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, and LewisGale Hospital Pulaski in conjunction with HCA Virginia sister facilities across  the Commonwealth, are hosting their annual “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and proper disposal of medications. Community members are invited to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired prescription medications. The events, which align with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, will take place on Oct. 23, 2021.

“Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life, and that extends far beyond the walls of our facilities,” LewisGale Regional Health System Market President Lance Jones said. “Our staff are proud to partner with area police departments to provide a safe way for the community to dispose of medication they no longer need. We know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and as opioid abuse continues to cripple our family, friends, and neighbors, this is one way we can do our part.”

“Crush the Crisis” events in Southwest Virginia will take place as follows:

Facility Address of Drop Off Location Event Time
LewisGale Medical Center Cave Spring ER
2706 Ogden Rd, Roanoke, VA 24018
10 A.M. – 2 P.M.
LewisGale Hospital Alleghany Walmart 313 Thacker Avenue, Covington, VA  24426 10 A.M.- 2 P.M.
LewisGale Hospital Pulaski Food City
1400 Bob White Blvd.
Pulaski, VA 24301
10 A.M. – 2 P.M.
LewisGale Hospital Montgomery LewisGale Hospital Montgomery  3700 South Main Street Blacksburg, VA 24060 10 A.M. – 2 P.M.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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.

“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 Dr. Jake O’Shea, chief medical officer of HCA Virginia’s Capital Division. “We invite you to join this year’s ‘Crush the Crisis’ events to properly dispose of unused medications and help educate the community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”

Law enforcement officers from local police departments will be collecting tablets, capsules and patches of medications such as Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), 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.

HCA Virginia hospitals are 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. LewisGale Regional Health System hospitals collected 725 pounds of medications alone in 2020.

To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of HCA Virginia, and LewisGale Regional Health System, 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, including HCA Virginia facilities.
  • 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.  

For more information, visit www.hcahealthcare.com/campaigns/crush-the-crisis or call toll free number at (833) 582-1970.