Area Leaders Join Forces to Curb Opioid Misuse and Abuse

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Pictured above, Victor Rodriguez, McAllen Chief of Police; Chris Rivera, CEO Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Jim Darling, McAllen Mayor. Rio Grande Regional Hospital, City of McAllen and the McAllen Police Department Work to Tackle Opioid Misuse and Abuse Through “Crush the Crisis” Drug Take-Back Day Set for Saturday, September 21. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
Pictured above, Victor Rodriguez, McAllen Chief of Police; Chris Rivera, CEO Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Jim Darling, McAllen Mayor. Rio Grande Regional Hospital, City of McAllen and the McAllen Police Department Work to Tackle Opioid Misuse and Abuse Through “Crush the Crisis” Drug Take-Back Day Set for Saturday, September 21. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Mega Doctor News

McALLEN, TX– In an effort to curb the misuse and addiction to prescription pain medication, Rio Grande Regional Hospital in collaboration with the City of McAllen and McAllen Police Department will host a take-back collection of unused or expired opioids on Saturday, September 21.

“Crush The Crisis” will give individuals the opportunity to turn in tablets, capsules and patches of Codeine, Hydrocodone, Demerol, Oxycodone, Darvon and other opioids at Rio Grande Regional Hospital. A drive-thru collection will be set up at the main entrance of the hospital on September 21 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  

According to a 2015 survey, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency stated more than 6.4 million Americans abused prescription drugs. Many of those cases, the agency study showed, involved the abuser getting pills from a family member’s or a friend’s medicine cabinet.  

Prescription opioid use also is a significant risk factor or gateway to heroin addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 86 percent of young, urban injection drug users had used opioid pain relievers non-medically prior to using heroin. Their three main sources for obtaining opioids were family, friends or personal prescriptions.

“This is a ‘no-questions-asked’ collection designed to safely capture and dispose of addictive prescription pain medications before they fall into the wrong hands,” added Cris Rivera, Chief Executive Officer at Rio Grande Regional Hospital.  “If you are no longer on a medication, whether or not it has expired, it needs to be removed.”

The Crush The Crisis collection site will be staffed by uniformed security.  Needles, syringes, lancets and liquids will not be accepted.  

Victor Rodriguez, McAllen Chief of Police
Victor Rodriguez, McAllen Chief of Police

“Opioid abuse leads to addictive drug dependency and drug addiction is always a threat to our community’s public safety,” said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez.” Our community’s effort to take back unused, expired or undesired medication is community crime prevention.”

The opioid misuse and addiction strikes in every community and affects us all, regardless of race, class or background.  

Jim Darling, McAllen Mayor
Jim Darling, McAllen Mayor

 “For the Mayor’s Wellness Council, our health efforts are focused on all aspects of wellness, including mental health and freedom from those addictions that prevent us from living happy, healthy lives,” said City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “Our partnership with Rio Grande Regional Hospital is another way that we can promote to our McAllen and Rio Grande Valley community about taking this step towards preventing addiction.”

For additional inquiries on the September 21 Crush The Crisis drug take-back day, please visit www.hcahealthcare.com/crushthecrisis or call 833.582.1970.