NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – TriStar Health’s Chief Medical Officer Tama Van Decar joins Nickelle Smith in the News 2 studio detailing what the facility is doing on its part to crush the opioid crisis.

“Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day will be held this weekend to raise awareness about opioid misuse and to help reduce the availability of opioids in the community.

TriStar’s Van Decar is encouraging everyone to go to their cabinets and get rid of those unwanted medications this weekend.

“The beauty of this crush the crisis event is that people can come and safely and completely anonymously give back any prescribed medication that they find that they’re not using and it’s anonymous and free,” said Van Decar.

The public is welcome to bring any unwanted medication in their possession, but Van Decar says the main focus is on the drugs that can lead to a life of addiction.

“The intent was originally to find those chronic opioids that people no longer need that could be found by family members, misused, and start a trail of addiction, but any medication not being used is welcome to be dropped off,” said Van Decar.

Van Decar said the event all began when an orthopedic surgeon recognized “that as doctors and providers we are the force many times of these medications and so we are encumbered with the ability to help people get rid of these medications.

In fact, last fall the “Crush the Crisis” event collected more than 13,500 lbs. of unused and expired medication.

TriStar has almost every one of its hospitals participating on Oct. 23 across 17 states.

The Nashville collection site will be at the TriStar Centennial Medical Center at 2300 Patterson Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.