By Melonie Flomer
ROCKINGHAM — Pharmacists at Medical Center Pharmacy teamed up Friday with the Rockingham Police Department for Operation Medicine Drop, an initiative that offers people a way to properly dispose of drugs that could cause accidental poisonings or drug abuse.
Caroline Marks, a pharmacist, and Cpl. Marcus D. Ricks of RPD sat at a long table decorated with a banner identifying it as the drop-off station.
As residents slowly filed in to dispose of their expired or unused prescription and over the counter medications, Marks greeted them with a smile.
“I’d estimate there’s been about five people who’ve come in today,” said Ricks. “The majority of what you see here is what the Health Department brought in from their collection. We’ve had a lot of people come in asking about, but who didn’t bring medications today. They plan to bring them tomorrow.”
Saturday’s drop off is from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the same location, 805 S. Long Drive, Rockingham.
“We normally hold it twice a year, starting in March.” Ricks said.
All drugs collected will be sent to the State Bureau of Investigation for disposal.
In 2013, residents safely disposed of 597 controlled substance dosage units, a total of 16,703 prescription dosage units, a total of 5,000 over-the-counter dosage units and 752 dosage units of unknown medications and veterinarian prescriptions — for a total of 23,052 dosage units.
Both the Rockingham Police Department, located at 311 E. Franklin St., and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, located at 1 Court St., both in downtown Rockingham, also offer year-round secure drop boxes during regular business hours.