Record number of pills collected

Apr. 04, 2013 @ 06:05 AM

More than 250 Operation Medicine Drop events were held in 74 counties across North Carolina during March 17-23 to provide people with a means to safely dispose of expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.

During the week-long event, more than 12 million doses of medications were safely collected and destroyed.

“North Carolinians cleaned out their medicine cabinets and turned in more unused prescription drugs than ever before,” said North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, in a press release. “This is a great way to help keep potentially dangerous prescription drugs away from those who could abuse them.”

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin echoed the success of the statewide Operation Medicine Drop events in a separate press release.

“The only way we could have had success like this, and ultimately protect our children, is when North Carolinians come together and responsibly dispose of their medications,” said Goodwin. “I’d like to commend all of our local Safe Kids coalitions — as well as the local law enforcement and government agencies who assisted them — for actively engaging their communities in this very important initiative.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, this year there was a large increase in collection of Fentanyl patches, one of the deadliest painkillers when abused.

Other unique medications collected included Hydrocodone and Morphine prescribed in 1958, packages of children medications with directions written in Hindi and a box of controlled substances prescribed to a dog.

The medications collected during the take-back events were gathered by the State Bureau of Investigation and delivered by the North Carolina Highway Patrol to a Division of Environment and Natural Resources approved incinerator for safe destruction.

Safely disposing of expired and unwanted medications through Operation Medicine Drop events helps keep drugs from being misused or abused with potentially deadly consequences.