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Beacon partners on “Drop 2 Stop” with the 525 Foundation

Beacon Health System has partnered with the 525 Foundation to place “Drop 2 Stop” boxes for unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter medications at Community Hospital of Bremen, Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend.

The new co-branded drop boxes were unveiled on Tuesday at each hospital.

Beacon is the first health system in the nation to collaborate with the 525 Foundation, which was established by Becky and Mike Savage after their teenage sons, Nick and Jack, died from an accidental overdose of a combination of alcohol and oxycodone in 2015. Becky Savage speaks across the country about the dangers of misusing opioid prescription drugs, educating kids and helping other families avoid a similar tragedy.

“It’s always difficult, but anytime you can bring awareness to this issue you can potentially save a life,” Becky Savage said as she shared her story with Beacon associates this week. “Partnering with Beacon gives us the opportunity to reach many more people. Good things can happen when you can stand united against a problem like prescription medicine misuse.”

While these are new collection sites for Community Hospital of Bremen and Elkhart General, Memorial Hospital started collecting unused, unwanted and expired medicine in 2016. About 2,300 pounds of pills have been collected at Memorial and destroyed since that time in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“We hope these new drop boxes serve as a visual reminder for people to clean out their medicine cabinets,” said Maria Behr, Elkhart General’s executive director of operations. “These safe and convenient locations in our hospitals will give people one more opportunity to discard medicines they are not using as we combat this epidemic.”

The 525 Foundation has also placed “Drop 2 Stop” boxes in the 10 area Martin’s Super Markets stores and at the St. Joseph County Jail.

“This partnership with the 525 Foundation allows us to serve our community in providing a valuable resource to address substance abuse, which was identified for the first time this year as a priority health area in our Community Health Needs Assessment,” said Patty Willaert, Beacon Health’s Community Impact executive director. “We value our community partnerships as we work to address important local health issues, including the use of opioids and addiction.”