Ocala Health
October 15, 2020

Ocala Health announced today that it will participate in “Crush the Crisis,” an opioid take back day event which will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 in partnership with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Ocala Police Department. The event aims to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and proper disposal of medications, and aligns with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

As part of the event on Oct. 24, the community members are invited to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired prescription medications at four separate local law enforcement locations. Community members should choose the location that is most convenient for them. Once they arrive at the selected address, event signage will lead them to the medication drop-off location.

  • Ocala Police Department - Main lobby at 402 S Pine Ave, Ocala, FL 34471
  • Three separate locations:
    • 8230 S.E. 165th Mulberry Lane Villages, FL 32162
    • 9048 SW State Rd. 200 Ocala, FL 34481
    • 3260 SE 80th Street, Ocala, FL 34475

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 2 million people in the U.S. suffered from an opioid use disorder and more than 67,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2018. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the United States is seeing an increase in opioid usage, with 40 states including Florida reporting increases in opioid-related abuse, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

“Stress related 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,” said Dr. Arthur Osberg, Chief Medical Officer, Ocala Health. “Now, it 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.”

During the “Crush the Crisis” event, law enforcement officers from Marion County Sherriff’s Office and the Ocala Police Department will be collecting tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana). Needles, syringes, lancets or liquids will not be accepted. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place at the event, including universal masking, social distancing, removal of high-touch items and a drive-through collection option.

Ocala Health is participating as part of HCA Healthcare’s second annual national “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day. In fall 2019, 100 HCA Healthcare facilities in 16 states collected 5,887 pounds of unused and expired medications nationwide.

To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of Ocala Health, proudly partners with and provides clinical insight to the HCA Healthcare has committed $500,000 to the Collaborative to support the development of safer pain management protocols and reversal of the opioid crisis.

As a learning health system, HCA Healthcare 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 (ESR): a multi-modal approach to pain management using pre, intra and post-operative interventions to optimize outcomes. HCA Healthcare’s ESR programs have demonstrated significant improvements in surgical recovery and patient satisfaction and, importantly, up to a 50.8 percent decrease in opioid use in data collected from 124,000 major abdominal, joint, gynecologic oncology, spinal and bariatric surgeries from January 2018 - August 2020.

  • Alternatives to opiods in the emergency room (Alto in the ER): a multi-modal approach to acute pain management, which focuses on alternative medication to hit various pain receptors as a first line treatment for common painful conditions. Initial results of ALTO pilot programs demonstrate a 36 percent reduction in opioid administrations.
  • 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. Physicians have access to aggregated electronic health record (EHR) providing data that will allow them to prescribe opioids judiciously.

For more information, visit hcahealthcare.com/crushthecrisis or call toll free number at (833) 582-1970.

tags: covid-19