Baptist Health promotes opioid stewardship for Drug Take Back day

April 19, 2021

April 24 is national Take Back Prescription Drugs Day.

LOUISVILLE, KY April 19, 2021 -- While law enforcement agencies are helping to collect unused prescription drugs on April 24 during national Take Back Prescription Drugs Day, local Baptist Health  hospitals are also offering a way for you to securely dispose of your medications. 

The 20th Take Back Day is an effort backed by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to collect expired, unwanted and unused prescription medications.

“Medications can be life-saving when taken properly under the supervision of a physician but unused or expired medication must be disposed of properly so it does not fall into the wrong hands,” said Shweta Desai, PharmD, Baptist Health Louisville pharmacy manager. “Properly disposing of prescription drugs is the first step in helping to stem the opioid epidemic. By safely disposing of prescription medications we can work together to help prevent the misuse and abuse of drugs.”

While Take Back Day offers an opportunity to raise awareness about opioid abuse and how we can work together to end it, you don’t have to wait for a special day to return your unwanted medications. You can return them at the following Baptist Health locations anytime during the hours specified below.

  • Baptist Health Louisville, 4000 Kresge Way, Louisville KY 40207

    A drop box is available inside the retail pharmacy, which is located on the first floor of the hospital and is easily accessed from Entrance A (main entrance). The dropbox is accessible during regular pharmacy business hours only. For questions, contact the pharmacy at 502.928.6930.

    Pharmacy hours: Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., closed for lunch from 12-12:30 p.m.  
  • Baptist Health La Grange, 1025 New Moody Ln,  La Grange, KY  40031

   Curbside assistance is available by calling the pharmacy at 502.222.5388

   Hours: Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Baptist Health Hardin, 913 N Dixie Hwy,  Elizabethtown, KY  42701

   No drop-off on-site, Baptist Health Hardin works with local law enforcement for opioid disposal year-round. 

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including those from home medicine cabinets, so clearing out unused medicine is essential.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-months ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

Opioid stewardship

Baptist Health hospitals are working to fight the opioid epidemic through the Kentucky Statewide Opioid Stewardship Program, along with other hospitals and the Kentucky Hospital Association. In the program, hospitals are committed to reducing opioid overprescribing and improving safe opioid use.

Baptist Health implements a variety of measures during surgery and post-operatively which are aimed at stemming opioid use:

  • Surgeons may use other combinations of drugs for pain relief. 
  • Patients may listen to music to aid in relaxation. 
  • Ice therapy is widely used post-operatively.
  • Post-surgery patients are provided the minimum days’ supply of narcotic pain medications in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications to help with pain relief. 

Some alternative therapy measures may not be available at all locations. If you are having surgery, talk to your physician about the pain management options available to you.