Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Drug Drop-Off of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

With the drug epidemic being what it is in the United States, the proper disposal of unused medications has never been more important.

In the past, most people did not think twice about throwing unwanted, unused, or expired medications in the garbage, washing them down the sink, or flushing them down the toilet. However, in recent years, the risks of getting rid of prescription or over-the-counter medications in these ways have become evident.

The Washington Poison Center outlines a number of ways in which improper disposal of medications can cause significant damage, including the following:

  • Damage to the environment – Flushing medications down the sink or toilet sends chemicals directly into water sources, not only potentially harming aquatic life, but also potentially harming humans and animals who consume that water.
  • Accidental poisoning – By leaving unused or expired medications around the house, there becomes a risk of them being ingested unintentionally, resulting in poisoning. Children and pets are susceptible to this, as they are unaware of what consuming these medications can do.
  • Making drugs accessible for abuse – The abuse of prescription medications is a widespread problem, and by not disposing of medications, or by improperly disposing of them, individuals may unknowingly be placing them in the hands of drug users. Whether it is a teenager within the home, or someone who is searching through garbage on the street, making these drugs accessible in any fashion can aid in feeding someone’s drug habit.

The greater Seattle area has, unfortunately, not been sheltered from the damage related to the improper disposal of prescription medications. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has reported that last year in Pierce County alone, “more than 1,500 children under the age of 6 came in contact with or were poisoned by unused or unsecured medicine [that was] left in the home.”

The Health Department also noted a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that approximately 75 percent of individuals who are addicted to heroin developed their habit after first abusing opioid prescription painkillers.

For these reasons, it is important to know how to properly dispose of medications. And one of the easiest and safest ways to do so is by taking unused, unwanted, or expired medications to an identified drug drop-off location.

Steps are being taken on the legislative side to not only expand the number of drug drop-off locations available, but also to make the process easier for everyone to access. Not far from King County, the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health recently passed a regulation that will offer more locations for drop-boxes where medications can be disposed of, while also providing individuals with the option of disposing of their medications via mail at no cost.

The County Board of Health is not the only official organization that is taking steps to remedy this situation.

In an effort to keep medications out of the wrong hands, as well as to protect the environment, the Washington Poison Center will be launching a program called “Take Back Your Meds” in January of 2017. This medicine disposal program will be available to individuals in Tukwila, as well as to all residents of King County. Further information about this program, including where specific disposal sites are located and how to be notified when various locations open, can be found on the following website: http://www.takebackyourmeds.org/.

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