14,000 pills collected in Operation Medicine Drop

Oct. 04, 2013 @ 02:27 PM

Nearly 14,000 pills and 50 pounds of over-the-counter medications were collected during a recent Operation Medicine Drop by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park.

The medicine was safely disposed of to prevent it from being flushed down the drain.

Officials said 13,690 pills were collected, along with almost 50 pounds of medicines from NIEHS employees.

The collection was overseen by the Sheriff’s Narcotics and Anti-Crime Unit.

Law enforcement officials must supervise these events, because narcotics and other dangerous drugs are often received at the collection sites.

Officials said the intentional abuse of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives to get high is a growing concern, particularly among teens. Prescription drugs are now the second-most-abused drug, behind marijuana, among youths ages 12 to 17.

Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the State Bureau of Investigation, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of North Carolina and local law enforcement agencies working to encourage the public to safely dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications.

To help educate young people about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, the U.S. Department of Justice partners with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, the N.C. Parent Resource Center and the Governor’s Institute of Substance abuse.

North Carolina safely disposed of more than 12 million pills during one week in March, and collected more than 16 million doses during spring and fall drug take-back events in 2012, officials said.