Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids NC Chairman Mike Causey encourages North Carolinians to safely dispose of unused or expired medications at one of more than 70 Operation Medicine Drop events around the state on Saturday, Oct. 26, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
“Operation Medicine Drop saves lives,” Commissioner Causey said. “Poisonings and deaths occur when medicines and prescription drugs end up in the wrong hands. Medications should always be locked out of reach of children, and when medicines are no longer needed, they should be disposed of in a safe way.”
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning, with more than 67,000 children going to an emergency room for medicine poisoning each year, according to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide. That’s one child every eight minutes.
An average of four North Carolinians die per day from an opioid overdose. Forty eight percent of those deaths involve prescription opioids.
Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership between Safe Kids North Carolina (within the N.C. Department of Insurance), State Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, the N.C. Department of Justice, and local law enforcement agencies.
Since 2010, Operation Medicine Drop campaigns have successfully achieved the following:
- Disposed of more than 178 million pills
- Supported over 3,300 events
- Housed more than 465 drop boxes
To help prevent poisonings when taking care of children, follow these tips:
- Store and lock all medicines and household cleaning products in cabinets out of the reach and sight of children.
- Keep children where you can see them at all times, even when you go to answer the door or telephone. Never leave young children alone.
- Do not leave poisons on a counter or in an unlocked cabinet.
- Never carry something that can be poisonous, such as a medicine, in a purse where children may find it.
- Place safety latches on drawers or cabinets, and child-resistant caps on bottles, to keep poisons out of the hands of children.
- Clean out your medicine cabinets of all unused and expired medications, and bring them to an Operation Medicine Drop event or permanent drop box near you for proper disposal