For Immediate Release: September 26, 2012

Operation Medicine Drop and Safe Kids NC Help the DEA Take Back Drugs

Public can drop off medications at sites throughout North Carolina on Sept. 29.

RALEIGH -- On Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., North Carolinians will have the opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications.

Operation Medicine Drop, a grassroots partnership that includes Safe Kids North Carolina, is working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to organize the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On Sept. 29, people can turn in pills, powders and other solid medicines anonymously without fear of prosecution at events around the state. The service is free and no questions are asked at the collection sites. Uniformed officers and DEA officials will be at the sites to protect the locations and to secure the medications.

The goals of the drug take-back events are to prevent poisonings, drug abuse and theft, as well as to protect our waters. During the past four annual take-back programs, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed more than 1.5 million pounds of medication from circulation.

There will be more than 149 events in 58 North Carolina counties. Go to www.ncsafekids.org to find a take-back event near you.

With unintentional poisoning deaths on the rise in North Carolina, Operation Medicine Drop reminds parents and caregivers to:

National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative

This U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Operation Medicine Drop

Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Riverkeepers of North Carolina, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of North Carolina and local law enforcement agencies that works to encourage the public to safely dispose of unused and unwanted medication. By providing safe and secure ways for people to get rid of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications, Operation Medicine Drop helps prevent accidental poisonings and drug abuse while protecting our waters. Learn more at www.ncsafekids.org.

For more information about Operation Medicine Drop, go to www.ncsafekids.org.

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