LewisGale Regional Health System to Participate in “Crush the Crisis”  Opioid Take-Back Day October 24

With the opioid crisis still raging throughout the nation, LewisGale Regional Health System facilities in Southwest Virginia will either host or join other area organizations in “Crush the Crisis,” an opioid drug take-back day, which will allow the community to safely dispose of unused or expired opioid medications.

The drug take-back collection sites will be available on Saturday, October 24, at the following locations and times:

• LewisGale Medical Center Cave Spring ER
2706 Ogden Road, Roanoke, VA 24018
10 am – 2 pm

• LewisGale Hospital Montgomery
3700 South Main Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060
9 am – 12 noon

Employees at LewisGale Hospital Alleghany and LewisGale Hospital Pulaski are teaming up with other area businesses to offer collection sites at the following locations:
• Kroger / CVS
1618 Main Street, Clifton Forge, VA 24422
10 am – 2 pm

• Walmart
313 Thacker Ave, Covington, VA 24426
10 am – 2 pm

• Food City
1400 Bob White Blvd, Pulaski, VA  24301
10 am – 2 pm

“Stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be exacerbating the opioid crisis by causing Americans to have feelings of anxiety, grief, social isolation, financial worry, and general uncertainty, all of which can affect those with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing one,” said Dr. Cooper, chief medical officer of LewisGale Medical Center. “Now, more than ever, it’s critically important to get unused pain medications out of homes and to educate the community about the serious threat of opioid misuse and abuse.”

Volunteers 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). Needles, syringes, lancets, or liquids will not be accepted. Law enforcement officers will be on site at each corresponding facility to assist with the collection and disposal of unused medications.

In 2018, nearly 15,000 people died from an overdose that included prescription opioids, and a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that visits for non-fatal opioid overdoses more than doubled from 2019 to 2020 in one emergency department in Virginia.

To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of LewisGale Regional Health System which is also part of HCA Virginia hospitals, 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 $500,000 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 35 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 using pre, intra and post-operative interventions to optimize outcomes. HCA Healthcare’s ESR programs have demonstrated significant improvements in surgical recovery and patient satisfaction and, importantly, up to a 50.8 percent decrease in opioid use in data collected from 124,000 major abdominal, joint, gynecologic oncology, spinal and bariatric surgeries from January 2018 – August 2020.

• ALTernatives to Opioids in the Emergency Room (ALTO in the ER): a multi-modal approach to acute pain management, which focuses on alternative medication to hit various pain receptors as a first line treatment for common painful conditions. Initial results of ALTO pilot programs demonstrate a 36 percent reduction in opioid administrations.

• 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.

In fall 2019, 100 HCA Healthcare facilities in 16 states collected 5,887 pounds of unused and expired medications at nationwide “Crush the Crisis” events.

For more information, please call 833.582.1970.