Greg James, M.D.
April 22, 2017
Every day, we see the impact of opioid abuse in our hospitals throughout Middle Tennessee.
We see it when overdose victims are brought to our emergency rooms. We see it in physicians’ offices when patients struggling with addiction ask for help. We see it on the faces of parents who come to us desperate to help their children. We see it on the faces of our employees who have lost family members due to a drug overdose.
The opioid epidemic has its grip on our state. Its impact knows no boundaries. And it can happen to anyone.
Twice a year, the National Drug Enforcement Administration and partner organizations host thousands of take-back events across the country. This spring, we are proud to partner with Count It! Lock It! Drop It! and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation to host National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 29, at our Nashville hospitals.
The goals for these events are to provide safe, convenient locations for disposing of prescription drugs and other medications and to raise awareness about the potential risks for abuse and misuse of certain medications, such as opioids.
According to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, 55 percent of those using prescription painkillers recreationally got them from a friend or relative. We hope you’ll take some time this week to clean out your medicine cabinets to get rid of unused or expired medications.
- Saint Thomas West Hospital, Plaza Pharmacy, 4230 Harding Pike, Suite A-214
- Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, Midtown Express Pharmacy, 300 20th Ave. N., Suite 105
There are more than 100 different locations across the state offering take-back events on Saturday, April 29, including six Walgreens locations in Davidson County.
If you can’t join us at one of our hospitals, we encourage you to visit www.countitlockitdropit.com to find a take-back event near your home.
Simple, safe disposal of unused drugs is vital in fighting our state’s opioid epidemic. With take-back events, the process is quick, easy and anonymous.
At Saint Thomas Health, our mission is to provide spiritually centered, holistic care that sustains and improves the health of the communities we serve. This mission goes beyond the walls of our hospitals. We are here to make our communities better, and we want to do our part to help combat the opioid crisis.
Please join us in this important public health effort. Together, we can make a difference in our communities.
Read more in the Tennessean.
Greg James, M.D., is chief clinical officer at Saint Thomas Health.