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RALEIGH — The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation collected and destroyed 13,485 pounds of unused prescription medication so far this years as part of Operation Medicine Drop.
That weight in pills equals about 10.1 million doses, said Angie Grube, the bureau’s director of public information.
Like so many other events, Operation Medicine Drop looked a little different this year because of COVID-19. While the spring national prescription drug take-back day sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was postponed in April, local police departments and sheriffs’ offices across the state continued to collect old medications at drop boxes located in their lobbies.
On June 17, more than 50 agencies delivered those medications to SBI agents from the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit who were staged at a state-approved incinerator in Alamance County where the medications were safely and properly destroyed.
“We appreciate everyone’s support, especially the citizens of North Carolina who did their part to make sure these prescriptions were properly disposed of, so they didn’t end up in the wrong hands,” said John Keane, special agent-in-charge of the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit.
Since 2013, Operation Medicine Drop has collected and destroyed 217.3 million prescription pills, broken down by year into: 20,176 pounds in 2013; 9,932 pounds in 2014; 26,238 pounds in 2015; 41,385 pounds in 2016; 48,354 pounds in 2017; 62,239 in 2018; and 68,056 pounds in 2019.
Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership between Safe Kids North Carolina, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the N.C. Department of Justice and Attorney General Josh Stein’s office, the N.C. Department of Insurance, the N.C. National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the SBI and law enforcement agencies across the state.
The next coordinated Operation Medicine Drop event will take place in the fall.
Medicines can be dropped at the following locations in southern Nash County:
• Spring Hope Police Department, 118 W. Railroad St., Spring Hope, 252-478-5186. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on weekdays.
• Southside Pharmacy, 98 Dodd St., Spring Hope, 252-478-5969. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
• Middlesex Pharmacy, 10196 S. Nash St., Middlesex, 252-235-4367. Open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
• Bailey Pharmacy, 6311 Deans St., Bailey, 252-235-3562. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.