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Excess Medicine Taken off the Streets via Joint Effort by FirstHealth and Sheriff’s Department

Richmond County deputies collect excess medicine during Wednesday's "Operation Medicine Drop."
Photo courtesy of C.K. Craven.

ROCKINGHAM – Local pharmacies with drive-through service windows might take note from Amy Forrester of FirstHealth, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department, and the G-104 radio station: it is possible to expedite “deliveries” in this manner (albeit in reverse) with little waiting.

The G-104 facility on Airport Road in Rockingham was the site of the most recent “Operation Medicine Drop” orchestrated by FirstHealth and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday, October 25 between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m.

With the direct supervision and working participation of deputies and volunteers, the process was quite successful.  Persons with excess drugs or medications were able to simply drive in, hand the “merchandise” to a waiting collector, and then safely merge back onto Airport Road.  

And it was perfectly legal under the watchful eyes of the deputies!

“Some of these pharmaceuticals are quite potent and could be poisonous to kids,” says Forrester, who coordinates these events in Richmond County for FirstHealth.  “We are also mindful of curious teenagers and a need to eliminate any temptation or targeting that might occur if excess drugs or medications are in the house.”

The medications are collected, cataloged, and temporarily deposited by law enforcement officers until arrangements can be made with the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for implementation of an elimination process in accordance with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) protocol.


Credit should be rendered to Sherrell Jackson, widow of long-time deputy J.J. Jackson, for her role in orchestrating and supporting this effort.

“We just want to help the community get rid of unwanted drugs and medications in a safe way,” says Jackson, whom others credit for helping originate the event over eight years ago.  Indeed, it was she who was serving as the primary “pick-up person” for the drop-offs.  

Those who may have missed Wednesday’s event but are in need of a safe and secure means of ridding unwanted medications, other such opportunities are scheduled. 

The Rockingham Police Department will hold a similar set-up at Medical Center Pharmacy on Long Drive from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, which happens to be “National Take-Back Day” for such medications across the country.

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