Operation Medicine Drop: Properly disposing your medicine and keeping your kids safe

The Albany Drug Unit collected unwanted medications Saturday, to help get drugs off the street....
The Albany Drug Unit collected unwanted medications Saturday, to help get drugs off the street. (Source: WALB)
Published: Mar. 18, 2019 at 6:56 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Everyday, more than 130 die from opioid overdoses in the United States. Medications are the number one leading cause of accidental deaths among children. That’s why it’s important to safely and securely dispose of your medicines.

March 17-24 is Take Back Week in North Carolina. There will be medicine drop off events in cities around the state including Asheville, Winston-Salem, and Wilmington.

Safe Kids Cape Fear is hosting Operation Medicine Drop this week.

“Medication safety, as we know, has now surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the number one injury and death of children,” says Julia Phelps with the New Hanover County Health Department. “We are working to put preventative measures in place to kind of help combat that. One of those measures being Operation Medicine Drop."

The event is to help you properly dispose of unwanted, used or used, prescription, over the counter, and expired medications.

“We want to make sure that we don’t throw any medications down the toilet, down the sink, or in the trash because we really want to try to minimize those chemicals getting into the soils, into the water,” says Phelps.

Not only does properly disposing of medicines help save the environment, but it also protects children, teens, and adults from getting their hands on medicines that they shouldn’t have. Phelps says for those medicines that you can’t get rid of, it’s important to keep them in a safe place in your home.

“We recommend, if possible, that you lock medications up in the home,” says Phelps. “We have personal lock boxes through certain programs in the county where you can put that medication in and then put that up and away, out of reach of a child’s sight. Somewhere they’re not going to typically go.”

Operation Medicine drop is from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday, March 18. It will be on UNCW’s campus on 5126 Lionfish Dr.

If you can’t make it to Monday’s event, you can always drop medicines off at the list of places found here.

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