Thousands of Pounds of Old Medications Destroyed as Part of Operation Medicine Drop



CONTACT:  Angie Grube

Public Information Director, SBI


May 4, 2021


Thousands of Pounds of Old Medications Destroyed as Part of Operation Medicine Drop

(Raleigh, NC) - The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) collected and destroyed 17,677 pounds of unused prescription medications on Monday, May 3, 2021, as part of Operation Medicine Drop (OMD).  That translates into 13.2 million dosage units.  In spite of the coronavirus pandemic, people came out for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored by the US Drug Enforcement Administration and continued to fill drop boxes across the state at pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, police departments and sheriffs’ offices with old medications.  On Monday, 65 law enforcement agencies delivered those medications to SBI agents with the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit (DECU) who were staged at a state-approved incinerator in Alamance County where the medications were safely and properly destroyed.

OMD is a partnership between Safe Kids North Carolina, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Carolina Department of Justice and Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Insurance, the North Carolina National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the SBI and law enforcement agencies across the state.  Since 2013, OMD has collected 252.4 million prescription pills. 

Please see below for the number of medications that have been collected and destroyed since 2013.  These numbers reflect OMD events for each year: 

  2013 – 20,176 lbs.

2014 – 9,932 lbs.

  2015 – 26,238 lbs.

  2016 – 41,385 lbs.

  2017 – 48,354 lbs.

  2018 – 62,239 lbs.

  2019 – 68,056 lbs.

  2020 – 42,815 lbs.


The next coordinated Operation Medicine Drop event will take place in the fall.  You can visit for more information and to find a drop box near you.