Medicine Drop cleans streets, environment
This year, Thomasville Fire Department, Thomasville Police Department and NC Safe Kids hope for the best turnout yet at Operation Medicine Drop.
This year’s event will run from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at fire station headquarters, 712 E. Main St.
Last March was the most successful campaign to date with 16,262 doses of medicine collected, said Dolly Hulin, fire and life director of Thomasville Fire Department.
"It looks like we've been increasing every time," Hulin said.
This event offers a safe, secure way to dispose of expired, unused prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications to keep them out of the wrong hands. Among the 16,262 doses received last year, the breakdown included 1,782 controlled substances, 9,883 prescription pills, 434 veterinary medications and 4,663 over-the-counter drugs.
"That's a lot of meds that are no longer available for adults and children alike," Hulin said. "My statistics say 60,000 children are treated in the U.S. every year for accidental exposure overdose. That averages to about 165 kids, or four school bus loads per day."
In North Carolina alone, nearly 4,500 people have died from prescription poisoning since 1999 and those numbers continue to rise. Operation Medicine Drop is a free way to clean up the house and the environment, while protecting family members from lethal accidents.
In addition to preventing accidental exposure to dangerous substances, it also provides a clean, effective alternative to flushing these substances — keeping them out the waterways.
Capt. Darren Smith of the Thomasville Police Department will safely discard the collected medication. Hulin said it is important Thomasville residents show up for this very important event in a timely manner.
"(Smith) takes possession of it and he disposes of it," Hulin said. "Do not arrive at this drop early, because the fire department cannot accept medication without law enforcement present."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.