Information that includes the date, time and location for Crush the Crisis is displayed over a photo of prescription pills.

Rapides Regional Medical Center is participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 28. Rapides Regional is partnering with Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office in offering the community an opportunity to safely and anonymously dispose of medications left over from previous procedures or other medical visits.

Community members are invited to safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications between 10:00am and 2:00pm at the Medical Terrace driveway at Rapides Regional.

In 2022, there were more than 109,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increase from 2021.

“Rapides Regional and hospitals everywhere have seen the devastating consequences of drug misuse and abuse from the nationwide drug overdose epidemic,” says Rapides Regional Director of Pharmacy, Danielle Bryant, PharmD. “As the leading healthcare provider in Central Louisiana, and as part of our commitment to caring for our community, we are proud to support and help educate our friends, family and neighbors on the proper disposal of medications.”

Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office personnel will collect any unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications on location. Ointments, lotions, drops, liquid medication in leak-proof containers, vape cartridges without batteries and pet medication will also be accepted. Needles, syringes, lancets and illegal drugs will not be accepted.

“Our deputies work extremely hard every day in keeping illegal narcotics out of our community,” said Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood. “However, we sometimes forget about the legal drugs that are in citizens’ homes that someone can gain access to and become addicted or even die from an overdose.  We are proud to partner with the Rapides Regional Medical Center’s Drug Take Back Day on October 28, 2023. This is one more way, working together, we can keep drugs out of our community.”

The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day as part of its year-round “Crush the Crisis” drug take back program.

To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, Rapides Regional’s parent company, HCA Healthcare, 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 the reversal of the opioid crisis.