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Astria Health hospitals offer safe prescription disposal services to prevent accidental overdose

Astria Health is a proud partner of the Medication Education & Disposal or MED-Project® at Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital, which provides individuals and their families a safe way to dispose of expired and unused prescription medication.

“I believe there are three important components about this project that people need to know,” said Elizabeth Jensen, Astria Health System Director of Pharmacy. “One, we’re preventing further drug abuse and accidental overdose for individuals addicted to prescription medications; two, unused prescription medication thrown away at home ends up in a landfill, and that’s bad for the environment; and three, we’re preventing children from getting into unused medication and accidentally overdosing. As a parent and a pharmacist, I’ve seen this third part happen too often.”  

The MED-Project® is a national project that provides kiosks to organizations for individuals to drop off unused prescription medications safely, securely, and anonymously. Astria Sunnyside Hospital’s kiosk is located in its Emergency Department Waiting Room at 1016 Tacoma Avenue in Sunnyside. Astria Toppenish Hospital’s kiosk is located outside its Pharmacy Department at 502 W 4th Avenue in Toppenish. Both locations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The drop-off kiosks are not for empty prescription bottles. For more information about the MED-Project®, please visit med-projectusa.org.

The Yakima Health District announced earlier this summer that the number of opioid overdoses is significantly increasing.  Astria Health officials are aware of this problem and are responding to it by providing more inpatient and outpatient services.

“There are several factors to drug addiction – mental health issues being one of them,” said Brian Gibbons, Astria Health President & Chief Operating Officer. “This is why we’re committed to delivering compassionate and individualized care through our outpatient behavioral health services in Grandview and Toppenish and our inpatient behavioral health unit and medical withdrawal management unit at Astria Toppenish Hospital.”

Astria Health employs a highly-trained behavioral health team, including a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, social workers, and several nurses to help meet the mental health and drug addiction needs throughout the Yakima Valley.

To learn more about Astria Health’s Medical Withdrawal Management services, please visit https://www.astria.health/services/behavioral-healthpsychiatry/medical-withdrawal-management or call (509) 865-1590 (Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 9-8-8, the new mental health crisis hotline, or visit your local emergency room.

Astria Health, headquartered in the heart of the Yakima Valley, is the largest non-profit healthcare system based in Eastern Washington state. Astria Health is the parent organization of Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital, along with 23 outpatient clinics offering primary care and specialty services, including but not limited to behavioral health, cardiology, home health and hospice, neurosurgery, oncology, podiatry, rehabilitation therapy and sleep medicine. For more information visit www.astria.health.

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Posted August 11, 2022

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