The Richmond Observer – Richmond County deputies collecting pills at Operation Medicine Drop
ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is gearing up for another Operation Medicine Drop to help keep prescription drugs off the streets.
Deputies will be collecting unused and outdated medications from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 at G-104 FM on Airport Road.
The sheriff’s office teamed up with DR Pharmacy earlier this year for a similar event in observance of Poison Prevention Week, which is observed the third week in March.
The purpose of take-back events like Operation Medicine Drop, which happens twice a year, is to help “prevent accidental poisonings and drug abuse while protecting our waters,” according to the N.C. Department of Insurance.
Law enforcement and health officials prefer residents to bring medications to events like this, or use permanent drop boxes, instead of flushing them, which could lead to water contamination.
An average of four people in North Carolina die from drug overdoses each day and 79% of those involve opioids, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, which is part of the DOI.
The effort is also in cooperation with Safe Kids NC, the Child Fatality Task Force, the N.C. Department of Insurance and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.
According to the DOI: “Operation Medicine Drop is a FREE drug take-back program that gives people a safe and secure way to dispose of unwanted over-the-counter and prescription medications.”
Operation Medicine Drop has collected nearly 246 million pills since its inception in 2010, according to the DOI.
For those who can’t make it to the event, the sheriff’s office and the Rockingham and Hamlet police departments all have drop boxes for discarding medications.
According to the RPD’s annual report, the department collected 123,750 dosage units of pharmaceuticals from both its drop box and drop-off events in 2020.