Operation Medicine Drop destroys 26,000 pounds of unused medications

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 1:37 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - More than 26,000 pounds of unused prescription medications were collected as part of Operation Medicine Drop’s Fall Take Back Event and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The operation is a joint effort between the State Bureau of Investigation, the DEA, and the North Carolina National Guard.

The SBI says that the 26,020 pounds of unused prescription medications translate into about 19.5 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.”

WITN is told that on Monday, Halloween, law enforcement agencies from across the state delivered the medications to members of the three aforementioned agencies. On Tuesday, the SBI says the medications were “safely and properly destroyed at an approved incinerator in Virginia.”

Operation Medicine Drop is also partnered by Safe Kid North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Justice and Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Insurance, and law enforcement agencies across the state.

The SBI says since 2013, the operation has collected 306.3 million prescription pills. You can see the amounts collected and destroyed each year below:

  • 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 – 44,500 lbs. (spring/fall events)

The next coordinated OMD event will take place in the spring of 2023. Visit here for more information and to find a drop box near you.

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