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Thousands of pounds of unused medications collected and destroyed as part of Operation Medicine Drop

RO file photo

RALEIGH– A joint effort involving the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration and the North Carolina National Guard resulted in the collection of 26,020 pounds of unused prescription medications as part of Operation Medicine Drop’s Fall Take Back Event and the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

That translates into approximately 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.

On Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, law enforcement agencies from across the state delivered those medications to members of the DEA, NCNG and the SBI. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, the medications were safely and properly destroyed at an approved incinerator in Virginia.

OMD is a partnership between Safe Kids North Carolina, the DEA, the North Carolina Department of Justice and Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Insurance, the NCNG Counterdrug Task Force, the SBI and law enforcement agencies across the state. Since 2013, OMD has collected 306.3 million prescription pills.

Please see below for the number of medications that have been collected and destroyed since 2013. These numbers reflect fall and spring OMD events for each year:

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 Operation Medicine Drop event will take place in the spring of 2023. You can visit www.morepowerfulnc.org for more information and to find a drop box near you.

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