University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic Join Forces to Prevent Substance Misuse and Overdose Deaths by Hosting Drug Take Back Day

Substance misuse and unintentional overdose deaths continue to be serious problems in the United States. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed most misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet.
The best way to dispose of unused or expired medications is to take them to an official disposal location. As part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 30, University Hospitals (UH) and Cleveland Clinic partnered to host collection efforts at 17 locations throughout Northeast Ohio in addition to promoting collection at two police stations.
“University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic have formed a collaborative alliance to advance the health of our communities by focusing on Northeast Ohio’s most pressing public health needs. Preventing substance misuse and overdose deaths are chief among these issues,” said Champ Burgess, Chief Pharmacy Officer at UH. “This Drug Take Back Day is just one example of our joint approach to mitigating the opioid epidemic and reducing unintentional drug overdose deaths because medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.”
This event gives the public an easy way to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Many of these medical disposal locations are open year-round.
“We are proud to be working with University Hospitals on a variety of initiatives to control the opioid epidemic in our communities. Collaboration makes us stronger and benefits the health of our communities,” said Samuel Calabrese, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Providing the public with a safe and convenient way to remove unused medications from the home is an important step in reducing the risk of accidental drug exposures as well as preventing drug misuse. That is why we are committed to making drug disposal locations accessible on Drug Take Back Day and every day.”
In addition, as part of overall efforts to keep the community healthy, UH Ahuja, Geneva, Lake West, TriPoint and Conneaut medical centers provided no-cost glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings during this event. UH Portage Medical Center provided blood pressure screenings.
The public can also safely dispose of medications outside of the one-day event. Click here to visit UH’s nine year-round prescription drug collection sites.