Special to the Journal
We asked North Carolina to clean out its medicine cabinets, and people in Richmond County answered the call! From March 20 to 26, more than 265 Operation Medicine Drop events were held across North Carolina to safely collect and destroy expired and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office held an event at Family Pharmacy on March 25 and collected 19,226 dosages of medication.
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 agency and local groups to prevent accidental poisonings and substance abuse and protect our waters.
“Every time we collect and destroy a dosage of excess medication, it’s a success. We’re keeping these drugs out of the wrong hands and out of our waterways,” said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “I commend the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for actively engaging their community in this very important initiative, and I thank the public for taking responsibility to dispose of medications in a safe, secure way.”
Operation Medicine Drop coincides with Poison Prevention Week in North Carolina. 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.
• 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 1-800-222-122.
For more information about Operation Medicine Drop, go to www.ncsafekids.org.