Operation Medicine Drop Coming Up Saturday
By Tom Embrey
When Moore County held its first Operation Medicine Drop in 2010, Jerrell Seawell admits he was a bit skeptical about how successful the program to collect unwanted, unused and expired medications would be.
"I keep thinking nobody is going to show up, but people keep bringing in medications and supporting the event," said Seawell, a lieutenant with the Moore County Sheriff's Office's Narcotics Unit.
Operation Medicine Drop, which safely disposes of unused or expired medications, will be held again from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday.
Officers from local law enforcement agencies document and catalog the medications collected at each site with the assistance of community volunteers. The collected pills are turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation for destruction.
Drop off locations are:
n Southern Pines Police Department, on Pennsylvania Avenue;
n Lowes Food Store in Olmsted Village in Taylortown, near Pinehurst;
n Aberdeen Recreation Station, 301 Lake Park Crossing, off U.S. 1;
n Food Lion on N.C. 22, in Whispering Pines; and
n Quality Care Pharmacy, in Seven Lakes.
Law enforcement agencies have conducted five medicine drops since 2010 and collected more than 623,000 pills. Nearly 200,000 were collected in March.
The number of drop-off locations have been cut back this year. Seawell said the chosen sites are the ones that traditionally collect the most medications, and the locations are limited by the availability of officers to work them.
"We've also had a lot of success with the permanent drop boxes too," Seawell said.
Residents who can't make the drop-off event are encouraged to take their pills and medications to a permanent drop box at the Moore County Sheriff's Office in Carthage. That box is available 24 hours a day. Pills can also be dropped during regular business hours at collection boxes at the Pinehurst and Aberdeen police departments.
Seawell said even with the permanent boxes, Operation Medicine Drop collects more medications each time out.
"People are aware of what we are doing, and more people are coming out to the events," he said.
Operation Medicine Drop is traditionally held twice a year, in the spring and fall.
The Moore County Sheriff's Office partners with other local police agencies, in conjunction with Drug Free Moore County and the Moore Drug Prevention Task Force, to host drop-off locations.
Operation Medicine Drop is conducted throughout the state in association with Safe Kids of North Carolina, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.
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