Leesburg, VA — In another step to help curb access to and abuse of pharmaceuticals, including opioids, which are currently abused at epidemic proportions nationally and regionally, Inova Loudoun and Inova Fair Oaks hospitals are pleased to announce the launch of the Drug Take Back Program. This service will avoid inappropriate access to medications for others in the household (children, teens, animals) and help keep waterways clean.
Patients and community members are encouraged to drop off unused or expired prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medications (including pet medications). The collection boxes are not for illegal drugs, sharps, or aerosolized medications. To save space in the boxes, users are encouraged to empty medications into a sealable plastic bag. Plastic bags are available by the boxes. The user can dispose of the labeled vials at their homes.
At Inova Loudoun the collection box has been installed at the South Hospital Entrance near the concierge desk. The Inova Fair Oaks box is located outside the retail pharmacy on the first floor of the main hospital across from the gift shop.
Prescription opioid misuse and abuse has been a problem throughout the United States and regionally. According to the Virginia Department of Health, in 2016, the number of fatal opioid overdoses in Fairfax County was 80 and there were 29 in Loudoun County. In addition to the Drug Take Back Program, the Inova Loudoun and Inova Fair Oaks Emergency Departments (ED) have created Opioid Safety Initiative Committees, which are designed to scale back the use of opioid orders in the ED.
“It’s important to discard old prescriptions if they are no longer needed to prevent medication errors or misuse. And over-the-counter medications that have been in cabinets for a while pose a health hazard to toddlers and other family members,” said Cathleen Cowden, PharmD, Regional Director of Pharmacy Services at Inova Loudoun and Inova Fair Oaks hospitals.
Media Contact: Reneé Brohard, APR, 540-454-3493
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Inova Loudoun Hospital, serving Loudoun County for over 100 years, is part of Inova, a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research.
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital is a top-ranked 182-bed acute care community hospital serving the rapidly growing suburbs of Northern Virginia. Inova Fair Oaks Hospital is committed to providing safe care, excellent service and is continuously striving to improve each patient’s unique experience. Inova Fair Oaks Hospital is among the first and only hospitals in the DC metro area to receive five out of five stars for quality care from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Signature service lines include spine, weight loss, joint replacement and minimally invasive surgery. State-of-the-art cancer care and maternity services are also are among their signature offerings. Inova Fair Oaks Hospital is a fully accredited Comprehensive Center for Bariatric Surgery and a designated Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology. For 2014 and again for 2017, the hospital was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, IBM Watson Health. The Hospital Safety Score, by Leapfrog, is the gold standard rating for patient safety and Inova Fair Oaks Hospital is proud to have earned and A for the past several years, recognizing its strong commitment to patient safety.
Inova is a global leader in personalized health, which leverages precision medicine together with more patient-centric services to predict, prevent and treat disease, enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. At Inova, we serve more than 2 million people each year from throughout the Washington, DC, metro area and beyond.
We are shaping the future of health through our integrated network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services and destination institutes. Our commitment to health and wellness is further reflected in our sustainable practices. Inova is home to world-class researchers, expert medical specialists and renowned scientists, who are driving innovation to improve patient care, prevent disease and promote wellness. For more information, visit inova.org, or find Inova on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.