Corpus Christi Medical Center hosted the fourth annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and the importance of safe and proper disposal of unused or expired medications. On Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in partnership with the Corpus Christi Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), more than 200 pounds of prescriptions were collected during this event.

In 2021, there were more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a near 15% increase in drug related deaths from 2020. In Texas, about 5,000 Texans died of drug overdose in 2021 and nearly 8,000 opioid-related emergency room visits were recorded in 2020 by the State of Texas.

“Corpus Christi Medical Center has seen firsthand the devastating consequences of drug misuse and abuse,” said Eric Evans, CEO of Corpus Christi Medical Center. “As a leading healthcare provider in Corpus Christi, we believe it is vital to increase awareness of this important issue and offer our community a safe way to dispose of medications to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.”

Law enforcement officers from the Corpus Christi 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). Ointments, lotions, drops, liquid medication in leak-proof containers, vape cartridges without batteries and pet medication were also accepted. Needles, syringes, lancets or liquids were not be accepted.

Corpus Christi Medical Center participated as part of HCA Healthcare's fourth annual national opioid take back day. In October 2021, 96 HCA Healthcare facilities in 17 states collected 15,566 pounds of unused and expired prescription medications at “Crush the Crisis” events across the nation. In 2022, over 600 pounds of medications were collected from Take Back Day in Corpus Christi.

As a part of their commitment to curb the opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of Corpus Christi Medical Center, has worked with the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. HCA Healthcare has given $750,000 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 multimodal approach to pain management using pre, intra and postoperative interventions to optimize outcomes. HCA Healthcare’s ESR programs have demonstrated significant improvements in surgical recovery and patient satisfaction, including decreases in opioid usage.
  • 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 records, providing data that will allow them to prescribe opioids judiciously.

Learn more about Crush the Crisis here or call toll free number at (833) 582-1970 for more information.