Operation Medicine Drop Collects Millions of Prescription Drugs

RALEIGH -- The 2015 Operation Medicine Drop is a success with a statewide collection of more than 15.5 million dosage units of potentially deadly unused prescription medications, according to the State Bureau of Investigation.

On Tuesday, local, state and federal agencies delivered the 17,592 pounds of medications they collected March 15-21 at SBI district offices where the SBI’s Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit secured and prepared the items for destruction.

Ninety-six law enforcement agencies participated in 200 events across North Carolina receiving unused prescription drugs from anyone who wanted to dispose of them. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office collected 993,750 dosage units and Cary Police Department collected 875,000 dosage units. An approximate total of 500,000 dosage units were collected in the western half of the state.

“It is through these types of partnerships and programs that we are able to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse,” said DECU Special Agent in Charge Donnie Varnell.

Studies show that about 75 percent of all prescription medications abused by young people for non-medical purposes were found in homes of friends and families. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention advises that half of all young people that visit the emergency departments are there for overdose reasons.

“It is these types of statistics that make it imperative for us to remove these dangerous substances from the home,” SAC Varnell stated.

This medicine drop was co-sponsored by Safe Kids NC.


Contact: Teresa West
Phone: (919) 582-8511