Mission Health hosted an opioid take-back event covering five locations on Saturday, Oct. 24, to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse as well as proper disposal of medications.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. is seeing an increase in opioid usage, with 40 states reporting increases in opioid-related mortality, according to the American Medical Association.
“Stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be exacerbating the opioid crisis by causing many Americans to have feelings of anxiety, grief, isolation, financial worry, and an ongoing sense of uncertainty, affecting those with substance use disorders as well as those at risk of developing one,” said William Hathaway, chief medical officer of the North Carolina Division of HCA Healthcare.
“Now is more important than ever to get unused pain medications out of homes and to educate the community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, an estimated 2 million people in the U.S. suffered from an opioid use disorder and more than 67,000 Americans died from drug overdoses.