University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic Join Forces to Prevent Substance Misuse and Overdose Deaths by Hosting Drug Take Back Day on October 29

Dozens of locations will collect unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications 

Media Contact

Andrea Pacetti 216.316.3040

Halle Bishop 216.312.5086

Substance misuse and unintentional overdose deaths continue as an epidemic across Northeast Ohio and the nation. Most misused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet, according to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Unused or expired medications are best disposed of at an official disposal location. As part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 29, University Hospitals (UH) and Cleveland Clinic are partnering to host collection efforts at 39 locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to abuse,” said Champ Burgess, Chief Pharmacy Officer at UH. “Preventing substance misuse and overdose deaths are chief among Northeast Ohio’s most pressing public health needs. Partnering for Drug Take Back Day is just one example of how the collaborative alliance formed by University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic can move our region toward mitigating the opioid epidemic and reducing unintentional drug overdose deaths.”

This event gives the public an easy way to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Many of these medical disposal locations are open year-round.

“The opioid epidemic continues to take a toll on our communities, and we are pleased to be working with University Hospitals on initiatives to curb this problem,” said Samuel Calabrese, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Drug Takeback Days are important reminders to the public that there are safe and convenient ways to remove unused medications from the home. Our disposal kiosks are available on takeback days, and every day, and are a simple way to reduce the risk of accidental drug exposure and misuse.”


  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Liquid medication in bottles (less than 4 ounces) – package bottles in a Ziploc® bag


  • Illegal or “street” drugs
  • Needles, syringes or sharps containers
  • Medical devices and batteries
  • Aerosol cans and inhalers
  • Mercury-containing devices
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Liquid antineoplastic (chemo) agents


  • Click here for information about UH event locations and times
  • Click here for information about Cleveland Clinic medication disposal locations and hours

In addition, as part of overall efforts to keep the community healthy, UH Ahuja, Lake West, and TriPoint medical centers will offer no-cost glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings during this event. Project DAWN, which provides free Narcan kits and opioid education, will also be present at all UH locations.

The public can safely dispose of medications outside of this one-day event. Click here to visit UH’s year-round prescription drug collection sites. Cleveland Clinic also has disposal sites across Northeast Ohio. Information about those locations and hours can be found here.

For information about addiction treatment services, click here to be connected with University Hospitals and click here to be linked to Cleveland Clinic.


University Hospitals
Carly Belsterling,, 412.889.8866

Cleveland Clinic
Halle Bishop,, 216.312.5086
Andrea Pacetti,, 216.312.3040


About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 72,500 employees worldwide are more than 5,050 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,800 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 22 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2021, there were 10.2 million total outpatient visits, 304,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 259,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio

Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of more than 20 hospitals (including 5 joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit