April 23, 2024/News Releases

University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic Join Forces to Prevent Substance Misuse and Overdose Deaths by Hosting Drug Take-Back Day on April 27

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

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Substance misuse and accidental overdose deaths continue to plague Northeast Ohio and the nation. In 2023 the overdose death rate topped 112,000 in a 12 month period for the first time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National surveys show most people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet.

The best place to get rid of unused or expired medications is an official disposal location. As part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27, University Hospitals (UH) and Cleveland Clinic are partnering to host collection efforts at 29 locations throughout Northeast Ohio. This event gives the public an easy way to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.

“When medicines sit unused for a long time at home, it’s more likely someone they’re not intended for will discover them and misuse them,” said Michael Carlin, Senior Director of Pharmacy, Business Operations and Logistical Management at UH. “Joining for Drug Take-Back Day is just one example of how the collaborative partnership formed by University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic can make a difference by combining resources and addressing challenges together.”

“We are pleased to once again partner with University Hospitals to promote safe disposal methods in our communities. Disposing of medications that are no longer needed or out of date is a key step to avoid abuse or accidental harm,” said Lindsey Amerine, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Drug take-back days are good reminders, it’s important to keep in mind that our drug disposal kiosks are open year-round, so individuals can regularly bring their extra medications for disposal.”

In addition, all UH drug take-back sites will host Project DAWN which provides free fentanyl test strips and naloxone kits. The most common drugs involved in overdose deaths are fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. More than 150 people die every day from overdoses related to these types of drugs. It’s nearly impossible to tell if drugs have been laced with fentanyl unless you test your drugs with fentanyl test strips. Making the medication naloxone widely available remains another key strategy in fighting the opioid epidemic. Naloxone rapidly reverses an opioid overdose and can quickly (albeit temporarily) restore a person’s normal breathing, which gives time for additional interventions.

Also, as part of overall efforts to keep the community healthy, UH Ahuja, Geauga, Lake West, Portage, and TriPoint medical centers will offer no-cost glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings during this event.

In addition, Cleveland Clinic Florida will host collection efforts at four locations in Florida

Unused medications can be disposed of at kiosks at:

“We join hospitals across the country in supporting this important public service event, which can save lives,” said Charles Gowans, Regional Director of Outpatient Pharmacy for Cleveland Clinic Florida. “In many households, the likelihood exists for unused medications to be misused, and we want to give the public a safe and effective way to dispose of them.”


  • 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

The public can also safely dispose of medications outside of this one-day event at many of the drug disposal locations which are open year-round. Click here to visit UH’s permanent 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 hereto be connected with University Hospitals and click hereto be linked to Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic: Halle Bishop, Bishoph@ccf.org, 216.312.5086
Cleveland Clinic: Andrea Pacetti, Pacetta@ccf.org, 216.312.3040
University Hospitals: Carly Belsterling, Carly.Belsterling@uhhospitals.org, 412.889.8866

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. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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 21 hospitals (including five 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, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and National Taiwan University College of Medicine. 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 LinkedInFacebook and Twitter. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.

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