Polk’s Operation Medicine Drop collects about 13,000 pills

Published 9:54 am Friday, April 29, 2011

Approximately 13,000 old pills were collected locally through Operation Medicine Drop, held March 20-26, according to Ira Hendricks of CVS in Columbus. He said the total was about 10 times the approximately 1,300 pills collected last year.
“The event went really well,” Hendricks said. “We got a little of everything, from injectable medications to pain pills and other medications.”
Michael Capps of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office agreed that the medicine drop was successful. He said 90 percent of the pills collected were prescription medications.
Across the state, more than 2.2 million doses of old prescription and over-the counter drugs were collected during Operation Medicine Drop, more than doubling last year’s amount of 1 million doses, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said.
“Once again, North Carolina residents cleaned out their medicine cabinets in an effort to keep prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of the hands of those who might abuse them,” Cooper said. “By supporting events like these, we are continuing to get the word out about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”
Cooper, the State Bureau of Investigation, local law enforcement agencies, Safe Kids North Carolina, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the River Keepers and the N.C. Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition sponsored more than 200 prescription drug take-back events across North Carolina as part of National Poison Prevention Week.
Between 18-20 percent, or 360,000 doses, of the drugs collected were controlled substances such as Hydrocodone, which are among the most heavily abused drugs. Approximately 20 pounds of Fentanyl patches were also collected across the state. One site received a large amount of unidentified prescription medications displaying only Asian text. The drugs were believed to be more than 30 years old.
The SBI gathered the drugs collected by local law enforcement agencies and delivered them to WASTEC for disposal. WASTEC is New Hanover County’s Waste-to-Energy conversion facility, and its incinerator is approved by the N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox