Drop Box Available for Old Prescription Drugs
A new device in Moore County is aimed at bottling up unwanted and expired pills.
The Moore County Sheriff’s Office in conjuction with Drug Free Moore County and the Moore Drug Prevention Task Force has installed a permanent, secured bin for residents to dispose of expired or unused medication at the Sheriff’s Office in Carthage.
The Med Return Unit is a green bin, which resembles a library book drop. It was installed within the last week and will be available seven days a week for any person to bring in pills or other medications — prescribed or otherwise — to be discarded.
“We have a pill problem in Moore County,” said Capt. Jerrell Seawell, of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office. “This box provides citizens a safe and secure way to dispose of pills.”
The bin has a list of acceptable and unacceptable items.
Roxanne Leopper, a member of the Moore Drug Prevention Task Force, said the bin is a tool to help raise awareness and change attitudes about prescription drugs.
“We are trying to get that culture shift to let people know that sharing your medications is illegal,” Leopper said. “You shouldn’t share them and you should dispose of them properly.”
The Med Return Unit is made possible through a grant from Drug Free Moore County. The hope is that this bin will be well-used by residents and the program can expand.
“If people use the drop box,” Leopper said, “we may be able, through this grant, to put some boxes in other places that would further promote people getting rid of their medications.”
The box was installed just days before the start of Operation Medicine Drop, which is a countywide effort that allows residents to drop off unwanted or expired medications at various agencies throughout the county. It ended Saturday, but another one will be conducted in late April.
Last year, the two Operation Medicine Drop events combined collected more than 150,000 pills.
Sal DiBianca, a representative of Drug Free Moore County, said residents of Moore County are becoming more aware of the dangers of prescription drugs and that the partnership between law enforcement and other anti-drug agencies is building huge momentum to fighting the problem.
“This is something we have been working toward for years,” he said. “And now we are having success on a larger scale.”
Seawell said fighting the prescription pill abuse in Moore County is a tough battle because it touches people of all ages, races, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds.
“Everybody and anybody can be hit with this problem, but with the help and hard work of a lot of agencies we are headed in the right direction,” he said.
The Med Return Unit should be another tool in the fight.
“It’s (box) going to help us get some of those pills off the street,” he said.
Contact Tom Embrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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