• 57°

Removing a hazard

In this nation, prescription drugs are responsible for more deaths by overdose each year than cocaine and heroin combined. Some of those deaths occur when children — and others — obtain prescription drugs and take them.

The upcoming Operation Medicine Drop in Washington this Saturday can help prevent such deaths. Operation Medicine Crop is a take-back event that provides an opportunity to dispose of expired or unused prescription medicines or over-the-counter medicines in a safe, secure manner.

Before Saturday, we urge area residents to check their medicine cabinets for unused and/or expired prescription or over-the-counter medicines. On Saturday, take those medicines to one of two drop-off sites in the city.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Beaufort County Developmental Center and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation will collect them in the parking lot of Lowe’s Home Improvement on U.S. Highway 17. The Washington Police Department will collect them in the parking lot by Wal-Mart in Pamlico Plaza. Both locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Taking such medicines out of the medicine cabinets and disposing of them this way means its less likely children will get their hands on them, take them and suffer the consequences for doing so. It also means such medicines won’t be flushed down toilets, eventually making their way into rivers, streams and other water sources.

That’s a prescription this nation needs.