Operation Medicine Cabinet, the second event of the year, will take place on Saturday October 28.
The local event is part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day that aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. This is a great opportunity for those who missed previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to dispose of those medications easily and safely.
The local collection points will be at Foscoe Fire Department along with Food Lion locations in Boone, Blowing Rock and Deep Gap from 10am to 2pm.
“From a law enforcement perspective, one of our most important jobs is to work diligently and proactively to prevent drug abuse,” said Watauga County Sheriff Len D. Hagaman during the May collection date. “By hosting an amnesty day that allows the public to turn in any kind of unused or unwanted medications, hopefully, we will keep those drugs off the street and out of the hands of children.”
There were a total of 76,201.5 pills, 591 oz. of liquids, and numerous sharps collected during the event on May 13, 2017. Of those 76,201.5 pills 1,497.5 pills and 690 ml were Opioids, 574 pills were Benzodiazepines, and 238 were Stimulants.
Over 1.5 million pills and 132 gallons of liquids have been properly disposed of since the event started in 2009.
“Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our country, including in this district. Prescription drugs are the second most commonly used category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined. They are highly addictive and can devastate families that may suffer from the deadly overdose of a loved one. Prescription Drug Take Back Day offers an opportunity to remove potentially harmful medications from our homes and to dispose of them in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” said U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose.
Last April, the DEA collected over 26,420 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs in North Carolina. On a national level, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have collected over 8.1 million pounds – more than 4,050 tons – of pills. The disposal service is free and anonymous. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches.