For Immediate Release: April 2, 2013
Operation Medicine Drop a Success in North Carolina
251 events collected more than 12 million doses of meds 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 17-23, more than 250 Operation Medicine Drop events were held in 74 counties across North Carolina to provide people with a way to safely dispose of expired and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications. As a result, more than 12 million doses of medications were safely collected and destroyed.
"The only way we could have had success like this, and ultimately protect our children, is when North Carolinians come together and responsibly dispose of their medications," said Goodwin. "I’d like to 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 Pitt County Sheriff's Office's collection of 845,625 medication doses. Rex Express Care Operation Medicine Drop events in Wake County collected 110,000 dosage units of medication, and the Wilkes County Sheriff's Department and Wilkesboro Police Department collected 31,000 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 and substance abuse and to protect our waters.
Operation Medicine Drop coincides with Poison Prevention Week in North Carolina each year. 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.
- Find a permanent drop-off location near you by going to www.ncsafekids.org
- 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 - including where you can find a permanent drop box near you - go to www.ncsafekids.org.