Scotland County residents will have a safe way to get rid of old medications today.
As part of the annual Operation Medicine Drop, resident can drop off unused pills at the National Guard Armory in Laurinburg. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the armory parking lot.
Operation Medicine Drop” is sponsored by the Laurinburg police and fire departments, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Department, Scotland County Safe Kids Mid-Carolinas Region, and North Carolina Safe Kids.
Organizers say the effort is an opportunity to prevent accidental poisonings, abuse and theft by destroying potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Statistics show 70 percent of teens who abused prescription drugs, admit to getting them for free from friends and relatives.
There’s also another hidden danger when it comes to disposing of prescription drugs improperly. Many people flush the medicines down the toilet and the medications could end up in drinking water.
“This provides a proper way to get rid of medications,” said Laurinburg Police Office Josh Byrd, who has helped with the event for the last four years. “It is also very important that drugs don’t get in the sewage system cause contamination. In addition, a lot of elderly people have old medicines on hand that can lead to people breaking into their homes to get them.”
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. The medicines are collected and later incinerated.
Since 2010, more than 1,000 sites have collected more than 30 million dosage units of medication during take back events statewide.
The Laurinburg campaign collected more than 18,000 dosage units last year.
“It is both easy and free,” Byrd said. “Just bring your medications in and we’ll take it from there.”
Operation Medicine Drop is taking place during National Poison Prevention Week.