Striving to “crush the crisis,” Cartersville Medical Center’s opioid take back turned into a record-setting event. On Oct. 24, the offering was presented from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the main entrance of The Hope Center at Cartersville Medical Center, 100 Market Place Blvd.
“We were happy to host ‘Crush the Crisis’ again this year at Cartersville Medical Center,” said CMC Chief Medical Officer Mark Senger, in a news release. “We collected 47 pounds of unused or expired prescription medications, exceeding combined totals from the event the past two years.
“It’s reassuring to know that those medications have been collected for safe disposal and are no longer in homes. We thank and appreciate Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force for partnering with us and helping educate our community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”
During the Crush the Crisis offering, Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force’s members were available to collect a wide array of medicines, including oxycodone — OxyContin and Percocet; hydrocodone — Norco, Lortab and Vicodin; codeine; fentanyl — duragesic; tramadol — Ultram; morphine; hydromorphone — Dilaudid; and oxymorphone — Opana. However, syringes, needles, lancets and liquids were not accepted.
“Yes. We were very pleased with this year’s turnout for the Crush the Crisis event,” said Shannon Sims, Pharm.D., CMC’s director of pharmacy. “Participation has grown each year and we look forward to making an even bigger impact in our community next year.
“We collected 47 pounds of unused medications, which represents a seven-fold increase from our first year. We are excited to know we helped remove these medications from homes where potential misuse could occur. Removing access to expired or unused medications helps to prevent harm and possibly even death associated with intentional or accidental overdoses.”
Nearly 100 HCA Healthcare facilities, including CMC, collected a total of more than 10,000 pounds — 4,000 more than last year — of expired and unused medications at Crush the Crisis events Oct. 24.
According to the CMC news release, “As an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, Cartersville Medical Center is part of a learning health system that 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, ALTernatives to Opioids in the Emergency Room and Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances.
“Cartersville Medical Center has implemented Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR) tactics by using preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative interventions to optimize patient outcomes and reduce the need for opioid pain medications,” Sims said. “Additionally, we have adopted ALTO — alternative to opioid — strategies to use nonopioid medication to manage pain in the emergency setting when appropriate, thus decreasing patient exposure to potentially addictive medications when possible.”