By Dominic Garcia

(CBS4) – HealthONE is hosting an event on Saturday to help tackle the nation’s opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70,630 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2019, with more than 70% attributed to opioids.

Dr. Jaya Kumar, Chief Medical Officer at Swedish Medical Center, says the majority of people who get addicted to opioids get them from friends or family.

“With the pandemic this has only intensified. We’re seeing an increase in the number of opioid users as well as overdoses across the nation. This is the reason we want to raise community awareness for the dangers of opioid abuse,” she told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

Law enforcement officers from the various police departments will be collecting any unused medications including the following: tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana).

Needles, syringes, lancets, inhalers or liquids will not be accepted. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place at the event, including masking, social distancing and appropriate traffic patterns.

Five locations will be accepting medications on Saturday, October 23rd from 10am-1pm.

  • Centennial Hospital
    14200 E Arapahoe Rd, Centennial, CO (main entrance of the hospital on the south side of the facility facing Briarwood Ave)
  • The Medical Center of Aurora
    1501 South Potomac Street, Aurora, CO (parking lot north of the hospital on Potomac Street between E. Arkansas Drive and E. Louisiana Avenue)
  • North Suburban Medical Center
    Thornton Police Department, 9551 Civic Center Drive, Thornton, CO (collection area will be in the parking lot in front of the Police Station)
  • Sky Ridge Medical Center
    10101 RidgeGate Parkway, Lone Tree, CO (patient discharge area on the southeast side of the campus, near the Emergency Department)
  • Swedish Medical Center
    501 E. Hampden, Englewood, CO (parking lot located just south of the hospital near the main circle driveway on Hampden)

Dominic Garcia