Posted on 03/16/15
March 16, Monroe, NC - The State Bureau of Investigation will destroy millions of doses of prescription medicines following Operation Medicine Drop, March 15-21.
Residents of Union County can take unused or expired pills, including pet medications, to the Union County Sheriff’s Office Satellite Facility in Indian Trail on Monday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.; Union County Sheriff’s Office 24 hours per day; and, Union County Sheriff’s Office Satellite Office at Wesley Chapel VFD on Tuesday – Thursday from 9:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Safe Kids organizes the event, provides a listing of the drop-off sites and works with law enforcement agencies to provide security at each location. Narcotics and other dangerous drugs are among the pills frequently turned in to disposal sites.
Twice a year, Safe Kids North Carolina partners with the N.C. Department of Insurance, the State Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement agencies to give people a secure place to dispose of their drugs properly. The operation helps prevent prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands such as young children and drug addicts and abusers – or from being flushed down drains which poisons water supplies.
“I encourage the public to take advantage of this beneficial operation,” said B.W. Collier, acting director of the State Bureau of Investigation. “This is the safest way to dispose of old medications, especially to keep them away from young children.”
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol helps transport the drugs to an Environmental Protection Agency-approved incinerator. The Drug Enforcement Administration pays to have the medications destroyed. The State Bureau of Investigation reported that nearly 7.4 million expired or unused pills were collected across the state during Operation Medicine Drop last October.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning, according to Safe Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries.
According to DEA, medicines that languish in medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, and that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. About 1,000 fatal drug overdoses occur each year in North Carolina.
“Prescription narcotics are the leading cause of drug overdose in the country,” said SBI Special Agent in Charge Donnie Varnell of the Diversion and Environmental Crime Unit. “We hope everyone takes advantage of Operation Medicine Drop and disposes of their medications responsibly.”