Operation Medicine Drop fights opioid epidemic with statewide take-back events during National Poison Prevention week


RALEIGH

In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, which runs March 20-26, Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids N.C. Chair Mike Causey encourages North Carolinians to safely dispose of unused or expired medications at one of the Operation Medicine Drop take-back events or permanent drop boxes around the state.

“Medications are the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths among children,” said Commissioner Causey. “I am touring the state to protect our communities and environment by informing residents about the responsible way to get rid of unused medications so they don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

More than 67,000 children go to an emergency room for medicine poisoning each year, according to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide.

The opioid epidemic is not only a national crisis but a North Carolina crisis as well. An average of four people per day are dying from overdose across the state with 79% of those deaths involving some type of opioid.

Operation Medicine Drop aims to keep unused or expired medications out of the wrong hands and out of our water systems by offering people a place to drop off over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, samples and pet medications with no questions asked. Law enforcement partners will help dispose of the medications in the same secure way they dispose of other drug items—by incinerating them. Drugs should not be flushed or thrown away in the garbage because they may contaminate water sources.

During National Poison Prevention Week, Commissioner Causey will be at three Operation Medicine Drop drug take back events across the state at the following locations:

  • Oxford – Monday, March 21, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Oxford Police Department, 204 E. McClanahan St., Oxford. Commissioner Causey will be available to the media at 9 a.m.
  • Goldsboro – Tuesday, March 22, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Peggy Seegars Senior Center, 2001 E. Ash St., Goldsboro. Commissioner Causey will be available to the media at 10 a.m.
  • Raleigh – Wednesday, March 23, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. N.C. Department of Insurance, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh. Commissioner Causey will be available to media at 11 a.m.

Since 2010, Operation Medicine Drop campaigns have successfully incinerated more than 266 million pills collected through permanent drop boxes and more than 4,000 events across North Carolina.

Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership between Safe Kids North Carolina (within the N.C. Department of Insurance), the North Carolina Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the State Bureau of Investigation.

For more information about Operation Medicine Drop including a list of permanent drop-off locations, click here.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.