This week is Poison Prevention Week and it is also your chance to safely dispose of old or unneeded prescriptions and over-the-counter medications during North Carolina’s second annual Operation Medicine Drop.
Operation Medicine Drop is a statewide blitz of events where the public is invited to drop off medications for safe and secure disposal. A partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Insurance, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the State Bureau of Investigation and other local agencies, Operation Medicine Drop retrieved and destroyed over two million dosages of medications at nearly 200 take-back events in 2010.
Why should you participate in Operation Medicine Drop?
To prevent poisonings: Poisoning from prescription medications is on the rise in North Carolina. Since 1999, approximately 4,500 people in North Carolina have died from prescription drug poisoning, according to the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
To fight drug abuse: Many people think prescription and over-the-counter drugs are safe because they have legitimate uses, but when used improperly, they can be just as dangerous and addictive as illegal substances.
To protect our waterways: Throwing medicines in the garbage or flushing them down the toilet or sink leads to water contamination and harms aquatic life.
There are more than 215 Operation Medicine Drop events scheduled in communities across North Carolina.
Find an Operation Medicine Drop near you by clicking here.
Lynn Eschenbacher is a manager in the Pharmacy on WakeMed Raleigh Campus.