ELIZABETHTOWN — North Carolina was asked to clean out its medicine cabinets, and people in Bladen County answered the call.
Between Thursday, Oct. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 26, more than 250 Operation Medicine Drop events were held in 74 counties across North Carolina to safely collect and destroy expired and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications.
The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and the Bladen County Health Department held an event at the Division on Aging and collected 59 pounds of medication.
Operation Medicine Drop is an effort coordinated by North Carolina Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina, the State Bureau of Investigation, Riverkeepers of North Carolina and local groups to prevent accidental poisonings, substance abuse and protect our waters.
“Every time we collect and destroy a dosage of excess medication, it’s a success. We’re keeping these drugs out of the wrong hands and out of our waterways,” said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “I commend the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, the Bladen County Health Department and the Division on Aging for actively engaging their community in this very important initiative and I thank the public for taking responsibility to dispose of medications in a safe, secure way.”
With unintentional poisoning deaths on the rise in the state, Operation Medicine Drop reminds parents and caregivers to:
— Keep medicines locked up and out of reach of children.
— Always read labels, follow directions and give medicines to children based on their weights and ages. Only use the dispensers packaged with children’s medications.
— Avoid taking medicine or vitamins in front of kids, and don’t call them candy.
— If you suspect poisoning and a child is choking, collapses, can’t breathe or is having a seizure, call 911. Otherwise, take the product to the phone and call the national Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
For information about Operation Medicine Drop, go to www.ncsafekids.org.