LewisGale’s “Crush the Crisis” collects more than 500 pounds of medications

Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - It is a problem that seemingly began overnight, but has taken years to address.

“The opioid epidemic has really been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. So this is really our opportunity to help clean up medication cabinets and prevent those medications from getting into the hands of anybody that doesn’t need them,” said LewisGale Medical Center Director of Pharmacy Trey Akridge.

The right hands instead were set up Saturday to receive medications all over the valley, including LewisGale’s “Crush the Crisis.” Roanoke County Police officers like Thurman Butts were on site. According to Butts, overdose calls are a frequent occurrence.

“Every day, on any given shift, we respond to multiple drug overdose calls here within Roanoke County.”

Butts said this annual event helps in identifying the problem, before it has the chance to impact someone’s life.

“Nobody wakes up and says, you know, I think I want to try heroin today. The addiction to heroin usually starts a lot more innocently with either prescribed medications, or maybe they’ll start utilizing certain prescriptions recreationally and that usually leads down a path to opioid addiction.”

But together, the hope is that each pill bottle collected represents a mission to collectively put an end to the crisis.

The opioid epidemic has hit many families hard, but a positive from Saturday’s event included a collection of an estimated 500 pounds of medications across LewisGale’s four sites.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.