Northwell collects 300 pounds of unused prescription drugs

Lenox Hill Hospital participating in the 2017 Prescription Drug Take Back day.

More than 300 pounds of unused drugs were turned in at four Northwell Health facilities on October 28 during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and Southside Hospital in Bay Shore each collected about 100 pounds of unused prescriptions. Lenox Health Greenwich Village accounted for two full boxes of unwanted medications. Northwell Health anticipates more participation in the prescription drug take back event in early 2018.

The goal of taking back unused prescriptions is to ensure that they are not misappropriated. That is: the medication is not taken by anyone other than who it was prescribed to and used for something other than the medical condition it was meant to address. This is one of many efforts Northwell Health is making to impact the opioid epidemic in New York State. In addition to participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Southside Hospital is the first Northwell Health hospital to feature a secure prescription return location in the hospital’s lobby. South Oaks Hospital in Amityville is also offering free naloxone training and rescue kits; naloxone is a nasal spray that is used when someone has overdosed to try to reverse the situation.

“I want to thank the staff at Southside Hospital, Peconic Bay Medical Center, Lenox Hill Hospital and Lenox Health Greenwich Village for giving their communities an opportunity to turn in their unused prescriptions before they are used in harmful ways,” said Jay Enden, MD, medical director of Northwell Health’s Eastern Region and chair for the Northwell Health Opioid Management Steering Committee. “Northwell Health is working with the public and several organizations to do what we can to minimize the opioid epidemic in our communities.”

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About the Northwell Health Opioid Management Steering Committee
We are amidst of a large-scale epidemic that impacts our patient population and communities with no sense of discrimination or short-term relief. The misuse and abuse of illicit and prescribed opioids has motivated important dialogue throughout the Nation, throughout New York State, in our homes, our workplaces, and within Northwell Health. In 2016, the formation of the Northwell Health Opioid Management Steering Committee created an organized forum for experts within Northwell to congregate and discuss how to collate resources (some already in place, and some needing development) and implement potential solutions in efforts to better serve our providers, patients, employees and community.  With active partnership from numerous clinical and non-clinical departments throughout Northwell, a coalition of workgroups has been formed in order to research and implement a battery of solutions in a collaborative fashion. This interprofessional and interdisciplinary group has pledged to explore multiple avenues with the understanding that there is no standalone solution.

About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, over 550 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for more than two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and 3,900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Alexandra Zendrian
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