For Immediate Release: March 27, 2015
2015 Operation Medicine Drop a Success for North Carolina
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is pleased to announce that the 2015 Operation Medicine Drop was the most successful medication take-back campaign held in North Carolina since coordinated take-back efforts began in 2010. From March 15 through March 21, people turned in more than 15.4 million doses of unused or expired medications for safe disposal at more than 220 events across the state.
"Approximately 17,000 pounds of medicines and prescription drugs will not end up in the wrong hands because of this year's Operation Medicine Drop," Goodwin said. "I applaud the agencies running this year's events, and I thank the public for helping prevent poisonings, drug abuse and water contamination by turning in medications for safe disposal."
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning, with more than 67,000 children going to an emergency room for medicine poisoning each year, according to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide.
During Operation Medicine Drop events, people drop off over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, samples and pet medications, and law enforcement partners help dispose of the medications in the same secure way they dispose of other drug items. Drugs should not be flushed or thrown away in the garbage because they may contaminate water sources.
A partnership of the N.C. Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina, the State Bureau of Investigation, Riverkeepers Alliance and other agencies, Operation Medicine Drop events have retrieved and destroyed approximately 90 million doses of medications at 2,000 events since 2010.
To help prevent poisonings when taking care of children, follow these tips:
- Store and lock all medicines and household cleaning products in cabinets out of the reach and sight of children.
- Keep children where you can see them at all times, even when you go to answer the door or telephone. Never leave young children alone.
- Do not leave poisons on a counter or in an unlocked cabinet.
- Never carry something that can be poisonous, such as a medicine, in a purse where children may find it.
- Place safety latches on drawers or cabinets, and child-resistant caps on bottles, to keep poisons out of the hands of children.
- Clean out your medicine cabinets of all unused and expired medications, and bring them to an Operation Medicine Drop event or permanent drop box near you for proper disposal.
To learn more about Operation Medicine Drop or find a permanent medication drop box near you, go to www.ncsafekids.org.