At your disposal

Published 6:19 pm Friday, March 9, 2012

We all know that the easy answer is not always the right answer.

This is especially true when the question is “what do I do with expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications?”

The easy solution would be to throw them in the trash or flush them down the toilet. But the unintended consequences may force you to stop and reconsider.

The Associated Press has found that roughly 250 million pounds of expired unused pharmaceuticals are flushed yearly with the potential to enter our water supply and contaminate the environment. Additionally, nearly 4,500 people have died from prescription poisoning since 1999.

These staggering statistics should lead you to the proper resolution: Operation Medicine Drop — an event where you can safely and securely dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, veterinary or other unknown drugs.

Sponsored by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington Police Department, Beaufort County Developmental Center and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, Operation Medicine Drop will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at two Washington locations: the parking lots at Lowe’s Home Improvement and Wal-Mart.

Participants do not even have to get out of their vehicles as drive-up service will be available.

Local officials collected 59,000 doses of medications in two events held in 2011, keeping them from the landfill or water supply.

Now is the time to collect your expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and prepare for Operation Medicine Drop. It’s an easy way to do the right thing.