Operation Medicine Drop returning

Published 6:32 pm Thursday, March 1, 2012

Program helps safely dispose of  medications

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Beaufort County Developmental Center and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation will sponsor Operation Medicine Drop on March 24.

This event, the third Operation Medicine Drop sponsored by these agencies, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Lowe’s Home Improvement in Washington.

Operation Medicine Drop is a drug take-back event during which people may safely dispose of their expired or unused prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, veterinary medications or unknown drugs and keep them out of the wrong hands. Those wishing to participate do not have to get out of their vehicles — convenient drive-by service will be available. The drop-off tent will be located in the portion of the parking lot closest to U.S. Highway 17.

Unintentional poisoning from prescription medications is on the rise in North Carolina. Since 1999, nearly 4,500 people have died from prescription poisoning. The Associated Press has reported that the health-care industry is currently flushing an estimated 250 million pounds of unused or expired pharmaceuticals a year, creating a significant potential for environmental contamination. Operation Medicine Drop offers the public a free and convenient option for disposing of their prescription and over-the-counter medications to protect their families and the environment.

Operation Medicine Drop, conducted by these agencies in March 2011 and October 2011, collected more than 59,000 doses of medications.