For Immediate Release: March 16, 2011
Operation Medicine Drop: Clean Out Your Cabinets
More than 200 events statewide offer public safe, secure way to dispose of medications
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin wants you to start your spring cleaning in your medicine cabinet. Operation Medicine Drop takes place March 20-26, 2011, to provide North Carolinians with a safe way to dispose of unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications.
"When we keep excess medications around the house, we create dangerous opportunities for prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings," said Commissioner Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "If you take advantage of the many Operation Medicine Drop events being held next week, you can be confident your drugs won't end up in the wrong hands or pollute our waters."
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. To find an event near you and learn much more about Operation Medicine Drop, go to the N.C. Safe Kids Web site.