WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - One non-profit in our area is taking big strides to make the community and the environment safer.
The New Hanover Regional Medical Center teamed up with the NHC Sheriff's Office for their semi-annual medication disposal event on Saturday.
Hundreds of people in our area dropped by the hospital to turn in their unused prescription medication free of charge.
The event is offered twice a year for anyone who wants to get rid of expired medication that they no longer need.
Officials estimate that they will turn in more 300 pounds of prescription pills.
After all the pills have been sorted, organized, and weighed, the sheriff's office will take them to the local DEA office in Fayetteville for disposal by incineration.
Hospital officials say, in eastern North Carolina, deaths from prescription drug abuse is higher than deaths from illegal drug use.
Kathy Rawlings with the NHRMC Outpatient Pharmacy says this event is a perfect opportunity to be pro-active in order to keep our community safer.
"Prescription pills can be very dangerous," said Rawlings. "If they get in the wrong hands, we've seen the damage that can be done in terms of crime but they cause death as well, so we have to be taking that into consideration."
The next medication disposal event is scheduled for this fall.
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