OMD: got the meds out

Published 9:29 pm Monday, October 1, 2012

Over 60,000 dosages of prescription and over-the-counter medications were collected during Saturday’s fourth Operation Medicine Drop. The rainy day kept attendees down, but numbers were comparable to previous events. (WDN Photo/Vail Stewart Rumley)

Rain may have driven the numbers down, but local law enforcement deemed the fourth Operation Medicine Drop a success.
From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, two drop-off points accepted medications of all kinds: prescription, controlled substances, over-the-counter and veterinary medicines.
Nearly 60,000 dosages were collected between Washington police narcotics officers at Walmart and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Washington. Over half off all turned in were prescription drugs. Approximately 8 percent were controlled substances — legal, but only if they’re in the prescription holder’s possession.
According to Lt. William Chrismon, spokesman for the Washington Police Department, the reasons behind events like Operation Medicine Drop are multifold: keeping the drugs out of children’s hands, out of the waterways and providing an easy way to get unused medicines out of the cabinet, especially ones that are outdated and may no longer be effective, thereby lowering the chance someone could use bad medicine to self-medicate.
Often after a death, family members are left with their loved one’s unused medications, Chrismon mentioned.
“People don’t know what to do with it,” said Chrismon. “If someone passes away — ‘What do I with it?’”
With Operation Medicine Drop, the stash collected is taken out to the county animal shelter and incinerated, the product totally destroyed so that nobody else can get their hands on it.
Operation Medicine Drop is collaboration between N.C. Safe Kids, the DEA and law enforcement, held twice a year, once in the spring, again in the fall, and according to Lt. Josh Shiflett, spokesman for the sheriff’s office drug unit, “always on a rainy day.”
Saturday afternoon’s downpour brought the Walmart drop-off point to an early end.