'Crush the Crisis’ opioid take back day: Safely, anonymously dispose of prescription medications

Event will not accept needles, syringes, lancets or liquids

SAN ANTONIO – With opioid addiction being a national health crisis, more than 67,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2018, with more than half attributed to opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

In a partnership for Drug Free Kids survey, 2/3 of teens who misused pain relievers report they got them from family and friends, including their home’s medicine cabinets. A common misperception among youth is that prescription drugs are safer or less harmful than other drugs.

To raise awareness for opioid addiction, Methodist Healthcare is hosting a “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day on Nov. 7.

The event will educate our communities about the risk of opioid misuse, while providing a safe and anonymous way to dispose of medications that may be left over from previous procedures or other medical visits.

Community members are invited to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired prescription medications.

An increase in drug usage since the pandemic

Stress-related symptoms to the COVID-19 pandemic may be exacerbating the opioid crisis by causing many Americans to have feelings of anxiety, grief, isolation, financial worry, and an ongoing sense of uncertainty, affecting those with substance use disorders, as well as those at risk of developing one.

For every 10 suspected overdoses reported to the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) in May 2019, 14 overdoses were reported in May 2020.

Since the pandemic began 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality, according to the American Medical Association. Now is more important than ever to get unused pain medications out of homes and to educate the community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.

How the take-back day will work

In partnership with San Antonio Police Department detectives, Methodist Healthcare staff will man drive-thru locations at three Methodist facilities at Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant, Methodist Hospital Northeast and Metropolitan Methodist Emergency Center.

They will be collecting drugs from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 7. The community will drive through the locations and hand their drugs to SAPD detectives.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place at the event, including universal masking, social distancing and the removal of high-touch items like flyers and brochures. Over-the-counter and prescription tablets, as well as capsules and patches will be accepted. The drive-thru will not accept needles, syringes, lancets or liquids.

Law enforcement officers from SAPD will be collecting tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Cdeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana), in addition to other over the counter and prescription drugs.

Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant provides an outpatient program with an individualized approach to treating substance abuse disorders, with the combination of behavioral health therapy and medication. To learn more, click here.