Blake Medical Center
October 25, 2021

Bradenton, FL – Blake Medical Center’s 3rd annual “Crush the Crisis,” collects 135.74 lbs. of expired and unused medication for safe disposal at the four-hour special event. Hospital pharmacy team members partnered with the Bradenton Police Department on Saturday, October 23, for the drive-thru event, which aligned with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

“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. Unfortunately, misuse is often the start of a person's descent into opioid dependence,” says Mitchell Rubinstein, Chief Medical Officer of Blake Medical Center. “The ‘Crush the Crisis’ event allows for safe, anonymous, and convenient drive-thru disposal of mediations. It also helps to educate our community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70,630 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2019, with more than 70% attributed to opioids. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. is seeing an increase in opioid usage, and it is possible that a significant number of opioid addictions and overdose deaths come from individuals accessing unused opioid prescriptions of family and friends.

I am grateful to the community members who dropped off medications at the event, helping to take a stand against the opioid crisis, and ensuring these unused or expired medications are properly disposed of.” says Derek Vuong, PharmD, BCPS, CPh, Coordinator of Clinical Pharmacy Services at Blake Medical Center, “It was a privilege to be a part of this important event where we collected more medication than we have at our past annual events that started in 2019. At Blake, we put safety at the center of every decision, and we are committed to improving lives in the community we serve.”

Law enforcement officers from the Bradenton Police Department collected tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana).

To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of Blake Medical Center, proudly partners with and provides clinical insight to the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. HCA Healthcare has committed $750,000 to the Collaborative to support the development of safer pain management protocols and reversal of the opioid crisis.