The Place


"Crush the Crisis" with MountainStar Healthcare's 2023 Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Crush the Crisis
Posted at 1:20 PM, Oct 23, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Prescription drug misuse is a public health crisis in the United States. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that there were 109,170 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2022, an increase from 2021. Further, five in six drug poisoning deaths in Utah are unintentional according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, illustrating the importance of removing unused and expired medications from the home.

 In an effort to combat this troubling trend, HCA Healthcare facilities across the nation – known locally as MountainStar Healthcare – will partner with local law enforcement agencies on Saturday, October 28, 2023 to host “Crush the Crisis” prescription drug take back day events.

 “It’s so crucial that we bring awareness to dangers of drug misuse and abuse as the drug overdose pandemic continues to grow across the nation and here in Utah,” said Janet Zarndt, vice president of pharmacy services for the Utah health system that serves over a million annual patient interactions. “As part of our commitment to serving Utahns, we are proud to hold our biggest Crush the Crisis day yet.”

Zarndt spoke LIVE Monday about the event on FOX13’s The PLACE.

“We’re thankful to various law enforcement agencies and hospital colleagues who are enabling to make it easier than ever to safely dispose of unused and expired medications as part of ‘Crush the Crisis,’” Zarndt added.

MountainStar Healthcare is committed to bringing frontline solutions to curb the tide of prescription medication misuse and addiction across the country. This includes the participation of 13 total drop off locations in Utah.

Seven MountainStar Healthcare hospitals will host convenient drop-off locations – a majority of which will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Cache Valley Hospital (Logan), Ogden Regional Medical Center, Lakeview Hospital (Bountiful), St. Mark’s Hospital (Millcreek/Salt Lake City), Lone Peak Hospital (Draper), and Timpanogos Regional Hospital (Orem) will all host drive-through “Crush the Crisis” events, while Mountain View Hospital will host a drop-off location in partnership with nearby Payson Market.

Additionally, community members can drop off expired and unused medications at Westlake Emergency Center (Lehi), as well as select CareNow urgent care clinics in West Point, Cottonwood Heights (Hours: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.), South Jordan, American Fork, and Orem.

The event coincides with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and aims to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe and proper disposal of unused or expired medications.

The focus of the “Crush the Crisis” event is to collect:
o Tablets or capsules in any packaging
o Patches
o Medicated Ointments, location or drops
o Liquid medications (in leak-proof containers)
o Vape cartridges (without batteries)
o Pet medications

Items that will not be accepted include: needles, syringes, lancets or illegal drugs.

“Crush the Crisis” prescription drug take back day events aim to educate the community about the risk of prescription drug misuse while providing a safe and anonymous way to dispose of medications that may be left over from previous procedures or other medical visits.

Commonly prescribed opioids that you may have in your medicine cabinet include:
· Oxycodone (Oxycontin)
· Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
· Codeine
· Morphine, and
· Methadone

Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths in the United States.

Crushing the Crisis at MountainStar Healthcare Hospitals
MountainStar Healthcare’s parent organization, HCA Healthcare, a learning health system, uses data from approximately 37 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care. The organization uses the science of “big data” to reduce prescription drug misuse and transform pain management, with initiatives in surgical, emergency and other care settings, including:

Enhanced Surgical Recovery (ESR): a multi-modal approach to pain management using pre-, intra- and post-operative interventions to optimize outcomes. HCA Healthcare’s ESR programs have demonstrated significant improvements in surgical recovery and patient satisfaction, including an up to 44% decrease in opioid usage for some surgeries.

Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS): aims to stem increasing rates of prescription pain reliever-related addiction, misuse diversion and death by making it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop and alter prescriptions. Physicians have access to aggregated electronic health records, providing data that will allow them to prescribe opioids judiciously.

Ogden Regional Medical Center offers the only inpatient residential treatment program for addiction services that is affiliated with a hospital in the State of Utah. The residential treatment program provides a level of care for patients after they successfully completed detox and are medically stable. To learn more about the program and others, click here.

Those in need of substance use disorder or addiction treatment can call the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). It is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-days-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

For more information about this event and to find out where you can drop off your unused or expired prescriptions, visit or call the toll-free number (833) 582-1970.