Authorities collect 62,000 doses in Operation Medicine Drop

Staff report

ROCKINGHAM — Two Operation Medicine Drop events helped authorities collect more than 62,000 doses of unwanted, expired or unused medication during a two-day event at Medical Center Pharmacy in Rockingham.

On March 17, Officer Lee Bailey represented the Rockingham Police Department and collected 21,961 doses in a four-hour period. That includes 1,105 doses of controlled substances, such as prescription pain pills, with an estimated street value between $7,735 and $11,050.

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

On March 21, Sgt. N.L. Forrester, Det. Teri Childers and Richmond Senior High School student Breanna McKinnon helped collect 40,381 doses during a three-hour period on March 21. That includes 3,086 doses of controlled substances, such as prescription pain pills, with an estimated street value between $21,602 and $30,860.

Forrester said local law enforcement thanked Medical Center Pharmacy owner Greg Marks for allowing them to use his facility has a collection point for the two-day, semiannual operation. A second event will be scheduled in Fall 2015.

Despite the promotion of the event, Forrester said that a lot of people still don’t know about such collection events.

Substances, controlled, over-the-counter and even medicine for pets, are collected with a no-questions-asked policy.

Operation Medicine Drop is held in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s 9th annual National Take Back Initiative. It is a coordinated effort by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina, the DEA, the State Bureau of Investigation, Riverkeepers of NC and local groups to prevent accidental poisonings, substance abuse and protect our waters.

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 1-800-222-1222.

Permanent drop boxes are available to the public at the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the Rockingham Police Department and the Hamlet Police Department.

For more information about Operation Medicine Drop, and to find a permanent drop box near you, please go to www.ncsafekids.org.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety, Rockingham

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