Operation Medicine Drop’s 10-Year Success: Keeping Communities Safe from Medication Hazards

Operation Medicine Drop hosted by ECU Health gathers unused prescription drugs for proper disposal.

Since 2010, Operation Medicine Drop campaigns have successfully incinerated more than 266 million pills collected through permanent drop boxes and over 4,000 events across North Carolina. This collaborative effort between Safe Kids North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the State Bureau of Investigation promotes safe medication disposal and protects communities from the dangers of unused or expired medications.

Lillie Malpass, executive director at PCCSU, emphasized the importance of medication disposal events in keeping the community safe. Safe storage and disposal help prevent medications from ending up in the wrong hands, particularly those of youth and children. Community organizations have partnered to provide resources, including lockboxes for medications, as part of these efforts.

Local sheriff’s offices, police departments, and some fire departments maintain permanent medication drop boxes for those who are unable to attend events like Operation Medicine Drop. These drop boxes offer a convenient option for safe medication disposal throughout the year.

Operation Medicine Drop offers a convenient and free option for the public to dispose of their prescription and over-the-counter medications to protect their families and the environment. By safely storing and disposing of unused or expired medications, communities can reduce the risk of accidental ingestion by children and adolescents while also protecting the environment from pollution caused by improper disposal methods.

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