HCA Healthcare to host third annual ‘Crush the Crisis’ national opioid take back day on Oct. 23

Collage of photos showing hospital teams collecting medications

In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and proper disposal of medications, HCA Healthcare will host its third annual national opioid take back event on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Called “Crush the Crisis,” the event aligns with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Last year’s events in October 2020 collected 13,523 pounds of unused and expired medications. This year, approximately 96 HCA Healthcare facilities at 99 event locations across 17 states will invite community members to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired medications.

“Opioid addiction is a national health crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the issue,” said Dr. Randy Fagin, chief medical officer of HCA Healthcare’s National Group. “A significant number of opioid addictions and deaths come from individuals accessing unused opioid prescriptions from family and friends. Our ‘Crush the Crisis’ events help communities across the country properly dispose of these medications while educating the public about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”

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. has seen an increase in opioid usage with all 50 states reporting a spike or increase in overdose deaths since the pandemic began. To support the development of safer pain management protocols and seek reversal of the opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare proudly partners with and brings vast clinical insight to the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic and has committed $750,000 to the Collaborative.

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 reduction in the use of opioids. HCA Healthcare data from more than 86,000 joint replacement, gynecologic oncology, colorectal and bariatric surgeries using ESR in 2020 revealed an up to 26% reduction in opioid usage compared to those surgeries without the use of ESR. 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. EPCS allows physicians to have access to aggregated electronic health records, which can provide data that will help them to prescribe opioids judiciously.  

For more information on “Crush the Crisis,” visit or call toll free number at (833) 582-1970.

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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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