Thousands of Pounds of Unused Medications Collected and Destroyed as Part of Operation Medicine Drop

CONTACT:  Angie Grube
Public Information Director, SBI
November 1, 2021
Thousands of Pounds of Unused Medications Collected and Destroyed as Part of Operation Medicine Drop
(Raleigh, NC) – The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and our partner agencies collected 27,493 pounds of unused prescription medications as part of the fall effort for Operation Medicine Drop (OMD) and National Prescription Drug Take Back Day which is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  That translates into approximately 20.6 million dosage units.  “We appreciate the citizens of North Carolina who continued to fill drop boxes across the state in pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, police departments and sheriffs’ offices with unused or expired medications,” said Brian Fleming, SBI Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Enterprise Investigations Unit.  On Tuesday, October 26, 2021, law enforcement agencies from across the state delivered those medications to SBI agents from the Criminal Enterprise Investigations Unit who then took them to a state approved incinerator in Alamance County the following day where they were safely and properly destroyed.  “We’ve seen the devastation caused by the opioid epidemic and we know it can happen to any family.  That’s why it’s important that we all do our part to ensure unused medications are not abused,” added Fleming.
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 273 million prescription pills. 
Please see below for the number of medications that have been collected and destroyed since 2013.  These numbers reflect fall and spring 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.
   2021 – 45,170 lbs. (includes 17,677 pounds collected in spring 2021)
You can visit for more information and to find a drop box near you.