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Wilson County sheriff’s deputies are holding a drug drop-off event for unused, unwanted and expired medication on Saturday.
Operation Medicine Drop is planned from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1105 Ward Blvd. in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot. The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office command unit will be on site.
Deputies are encouraging people to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands or contaminating water supplies and landfills. All medication collected will be turned over to a State Bureau of Investigation field office for destruction and safe disposal.
Statewide, Operation Medicine Drop events set a new record for the disposal of unused medications last year, with more than 48,000 pounds — 24 tons — of pills collected as of November 2017.
Painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone are among the most-abused medications. When patients are lawfully prescribed the drugs and have leftover pills stored in their homes after symptoms subside, children, family members and acquaintances with access to the medicine cabinet can take the drugs for illegal use and sale.
Unintentional poisoning deaths in North Carolina rose by nearly 300 percent between 1999 and 2012, with 91 percent of those deaths reported as drug- or medication-related.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning worldwide, with more than 67,000 children treated for medication overdose and poisoning in hospital emergency rooms each year.
For more information about Operation Medicine Drop, call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office at 252-237-2118.