2020 Crush the Crisis events: HCA Healthcare collects 13,523 pounds of unused, expired medication

Clear bags filled with pills

HCA Healthcare remains committed to curbing opioid misuse and addiction in the communities we serve. This year, we hosted our second annual “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day in order to provide a way for safe disposal of unused and unwanted prescription medication. As a result, our facilities collected a record breaking amount of unused and expired prescription medications. Learn more…

Five people wearing face masks standing in front of a Crush the Crisis sign
Colleagues at HCA Healthcare’s West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, Idaho gear up to “Crush the Crisis”.

This year, residents in HCA Healthcare communities across the nation safely disposed of 13,523 pounds of medication at our “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day events, more than doubling the medications collected in 2019. The events, which took place at 95 HCA Healthcare facilities across 18 states on October 24, 2020, in alignment with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, were aimed at educating communities on the dangers of opioid misuse and the importance of safe and proper disposal of expired and unused prescription medications.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. is seeing a significant increase in opioid usage, with 40 states reporting an increase in opioid-related mortality, according to the American Medical Association (AMA). “Crush the Crisis” called on communities across the country to address this timely issue. The events collectively disposed of an estimated 9.3 million doses of medication, eliminating the adverse possibility of potential misuse.

Five people wearing face masks standing behind a table holding bags of pills
HCA Healthcare colleagues at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida encourage their communities to safely dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medication.

“Communities across the country came together in the midst of this global pandemic to properly dispose of expired and unused medications and make a difference in our battle against the opioid epidemic,” said Dr. Michael Schlosser, chief medical officer of HCA Healthcare’s national group and vice president of group operations, Clinical Operations Group. “Thank you to the DEA, local law enforcement agencies, hospital volunteers and all the many participants who showed up to help ‘Crush the Crisis.’”

The concept of “Crush the Crisis” was spearheaded by Sara Stedman, an orthopaedic nurse in HCA Healthcare’s TriStar Division, when she organized a single take back event at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017. Last year, “Crush the Crisis” was rolled out nationally, spanning 100 locations across 16 states, with 5,887 pounds of medication collected.

Five people wearing face masks standing in front of a police car outside a hospital
Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado teamed up with the Englewood Police Department for their 2020 “Crush the Crisis” event.

“The idea for ‘Crush the Crisis’ came to me after I witnessed the devastating effects that opioid abuse can have on an individual and his or her family,” said Stedman. “Thanks to the backing of HCA Healthcare, it is truly remarkable to see how this simple idea has evolved into a national movement that’s helping to bring greater awareness to the dangers of opioid misuse and why it’s important to safely and properly dispose of these unused and expired medications before they fall into the hands of someone who may abuse them.”

A total of 95 facilities across 18 states around the country participated in “Crush the Crisis” events by partnering with local law enforcement agencies to collect unused and expired prescription medications. HCA Healthcare facility events with the greatest amount of medication collected include:

Please click here for more information on HCA Healthcare’s “Crush the Crisis.”

Ten people wearing face masks standing with a Crush the Crisis sign
Residents in Rome, Georgia turned in their unused medication at Redmond Regional Medical Center during a 2020 “Crush the Crisis” event.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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