Medical City Healthcare hospitals hosted six drug take back events to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and encourage proper disposal of medications on Saturday.
According to Medical City Healthcare, the "Crush the Crisis" events aligned with the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and enable community members to dispose of unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Community members could safely and anonymously dispose of medications at drive-through locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at six locations around North Texas.
The locations included Medical City Arlington, Medical City Dallas, Medical City Denton, Medical City Frisco, Medical City Las Colinas, and Medical City North Hills.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in the year ending in May 2020, the highest number recorded in a 12-month period.
Experts suggested that the increase in overdose deaths could be caused by stressors related to the disruptions in daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, one in five Texans has experienced an opioid overdose, or knows someone who has.
"Opioid addiction is a national health crisis and it is imperative that we get unused pain medications out of homes where they can more easily end up in the wrong hands," Joseph Parra, MD, chief medical officer at Medical City Healthcare, said. "We invite our North Texas community to clean out their cabinets and dispose of those unused medications at one of our 'Crush the Crisis' events to help reduce the serious threat of opioid misuse."
Law enforcement officers from the Arlington, Dallas, Denton, Frisco, Irving and North Richland Hills Police Departments were on-site to collect any unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications.
To learn more about Medical City Healthcare's Drug Take Back Day or to find the location of a permanent drug take back box that is part of Medical City Healthcare's ongoing efforts to "Crush the Crisis," visit the Medical City Healthcare website or call the toll free number at 833-582-1970.