For Immediate Release: October 24, 2018

Contact: Ben Powell at 919-807-6008

Operation Medicine Drop aims to fight opioid epidemic by preventing poisonings

Safely dispose of unneeded medications at more than 70 events statewide

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids NC Chairman Mike Causey encourages North Carolinians to safely dispose of unused or expired medications at one of more than 70 Operation Medicine Drop events around the state on Saturday, October 27.

"Operation Medicine Drop saves lives," Commissioner Causey said. "Poisonings and deaths occur when medicines and prescription drugs end up in the wrong hands. Medications should always be locked out of reach of children, and when medicines are no longer needed, they should be disposed of in a safe way."

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. That’s one child every eight minutes.

Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina (within the N.C. Department of Insurance), State Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, the N.C. Dept. of Justice, and local law enforcement agencies.

For a complete list of Operation Medicine Drop take back events on Saturday, October 27, visit the Safe Kids NC website.

Since 2010, Operation Medicine Drop campaigns have successfully achieved the following:

The opioid epidemic is a state and national crisis with an average of four North Carolinians who die per day from an opioid overdose. Forty eight percent of those deaths involve prescription opioids.

To help prevent poisonings when taking care of children, follow these tips:

For more information about Operation Medicine Drop including a list of permanent drop-off locations, visit the Safe Kids section of the North Carolina Department of Insurance website at www.ncdoi.com/osfm/safekids/Default.aspx.

--NC OSFM--