Last updated: June 01. 2013 1:25PM - 202 Views
Anthony Gonzalez
Staff Report

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The Elkin Police Department and with Yadkin Riverkeeper on March 23 conducted Operation Medicine Drop at Walgreens in Elkin.

The event, along with collections received in the Elkin Police Departments medicine box totaled 14,238 doses.

Elkin Police Chief Monroe Wagoner said, “The department has collected a total of approximately 47,000 doses in the past two years.”

The collection of prescription pills has always been a focus of Wagoner’s, he said.

“The Elkin Police Department conducts three Operation Medicine Drop events a year. The drop box located in the lobby of the Elkin Police Department is accessible to anyone 27/7 to deposit unwanted medications,” said Wagoner.

Wagoner stated that he works in collaboration with other law enforcement and community-based organizations to help combat prescription drug abuse.

Also last week, more than 12 million doses of old prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected across North Carolina last week during Operation Medicine Drop, breaking previous records, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced.

“North Carolinians cleaned out their medicine cabinets and turned in more unused prescription drugs than ever before,” Cooper said. “This is a great way to help keep potentially dangerous prescription drugs away from those who could abuse them.”

Wagoner said Operation Medicine Drop is a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the Riverkeepers of North Carolina, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of North Carolina and local law enforcement agencies working together to encourage the public to safely dispose of unused and unwanted medication.

“By providing safe and secure ways for people to get rid of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications, Operation Medicine Drop helps prevent accidental poisonings and drug abuse while protecting our waters,” said Chief Wagoner.

Safely disposing of old medications through Operation Medicine Drop events keeps the drugs from being misused or abused with potentially deadly consequences. Nationwide, fatal drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death due to unintentional injury, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Prescription and over-the-counter medications cause more than three-fourths of all unintentional poisonings in North Carolina, according to the N.C. Division of Public Health, and approximately 1,000 people died in North Carolina last year from overdosing on prescription drugs.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez by calling 336-835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.

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