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Health & Hospitals

Sept. 9 - Memorial Health Collects 441 Pounds in Drug Take Back Event

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 9, 2019 - The numbers are staggering. More than 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose and more than half of the people who misuse these drugs get them or steal them from someone they know. 

That’s why Memorial Health partnered with the Savannah Police Department to #CrushTheCrisis by hosting a Drug Take Back Event on Saturday, September 7, where individuals from the community were able to drop off their unused, unneeded medications, including opioids.

“Keeping unused opioids and other medications around the home is just not safe.” said Dr. Jay Goldstein. “We wanted to do our part to make it easy for our community to safely dispose of these very addictive drugs. The community really responded! We collected 441 pounds of opioids and other medications, making our community a little bit safer!”

The event at Memorial Health was one of dozens of #Crush the Crisis medication take back events being held across the country by HCA Healthcare facilities. With 185 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care, HCA Healthcare is committed to curbing the tide of opioid misuse and addiction.

What are opioids?  

Opioids are a class of drugs used to treat active and chronic pain and are often prescribed following surgery, injury or for health conditions such as cancer. 

  • Common types of prescription opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine and methadone. 

  • Other opiates include fentanyl and heroin.

Why are opioids addictive?

Opioid medications bind to the areas of the brain that control pain and emotions, driving levels of the “feel-good” hormone dopamine in the brain’s reward areas and producing an intense feeling of euphoria. As the brain becomes used to the feelings, it often requires more and more of the drug to produce the same levels of pain relief and well-being, leading to dependence and, later, addiction.

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