For Immediate Release: April 2, 2012
Operation Medicine Drop a Success in North Carolina
236 events collected 11,000 pounds of medications for safe, secure disposal.
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin asked North Carolina to clean out its medicine cabinets, and people throughout the state answered the call. From March 18-24, 236 Operation Medicine Drop events were held across North Carolina to provide people a way to safely dispose of expired and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications. As a result, 7.7 million doses of medications were safely collected and destroyed.
"Every time we collect and destroy a dosage of excess medication, it's a success. We're keeping these drugs out of the wrong hands and out of our waterways. I thank North Carolinians for responsibly disposing of their medications," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. "I also commend all of our local Safe Kids coalitions – as well as the local law enforcement and government agencies who assisted them – for actively engaging their communities in this very important initiative."
Highlights of this year’s event include Cary Police Department’s collection of 875,000 doses of medication, Union County Sheriff’s Office’s collection of 619,000 medication doses, and Fayetteville Police Department’s collection of 290,920 medication doses.
Operation Medicine Drop is an effort coordinated by North Carolina Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina, the State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Riverkeepers of NC and local groups to prevent accidental poisonings, substance abuse and protect our waters.
Operation Medicine Drop coincides with Poison Prevention Week in North Carolina. This year is the 50th anniversary of the observance. With unintentional poisoning deaths on the rise in the state, Operation Medicine Drop reminds parents and caregivers to:
- Keep medicines locked up and out of reach of children.
- Always read labels, follow directions and give medicines to children based on their weights and ages. Only use the dispensers packaged with children’s medications.
- Avoid taking medicine or vitamins in front of kids, and don’t call them candy.
- If you suspect poisoning and a child is choking, collapses, can’t breathe or is having a seizure, call 911. Otherwise, take the product to the phone and call the national Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
For more information about Operation Medicine Drop, go to www.ncsafekids.org.