Thousands of Pounds of Unused Medications Collected and Destroyed as Part of Operation Medicine Drop

Last Updated on May 9, 2022 2:55 pm

(Raleigh, NC) – A joint effort involving the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the North Carolina National Guard resulted in the collection of 18,480 pounds of unused prescription medications as part of Operation Medicine Drop’s (OMD) Spring Take Back Event and the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. That translates into approximately 13.8 million dosage units thanks to the citizens of North Carolina who continue to fill drop boxes across the state at pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, police departments and sheriffs’ offices with unused or expired medications. On Monday, May 2, 2022, law enforcement agencies from across the state delivered those medications to members of the DEA, NC National Guard and the SBI. On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, the medications were safely and properly destroyed at an approved incinerator in Virginia.

OMD is a partnership between Safe Kids North Carolina, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Carolina Department of Justice and Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Insurance, the North Carolina National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the SBI and law enforcement agencies across the state. Since 2013, OMD has collected 286.8 million prescription pills. 

Please see below for the number of medications that have been collected and destroyed since 2013. These numbers reflect fall and spring OMD events for each year: 

2013 – 20,176 lbs.

2014 – 9,932 lbs.

  2015 – 26,238 lbs.

  2016 – 41,385 lbs.

  2017 – 48,354 lbs.

  2018 – 62,239 lbs.

  2019 – 68,056 lbs.

  2020 – 42,815 lbs.

  2021 – 45,170 lbs.

  2022 – 18,480 lbs. (spring event)

The next coordinated Operation Medicine Drop event will take place in the fall. You can visit for more information and to find a drop box near you.

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