NEWPORT, N.C. (WNCT) — Medicine is often prescribed to help people get better, but deputies from the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday those pills can also kill.
“Today we’re doing the Operation Medicine Drop throughout Carteret County at all the Food Lion locations,” said Maj. Dennis Barber with the sheriff’s office.
Operation Medicine Drop is a prescription take-back program.
“We’re trying to collect all the unused opiates and hard drugs that’s out here on the street,” said Barber.
Carteret County hosted the first prescription take back program in 2008. Barber says the program helps prevent crimes from happening.
“A lot of people will get medication and they’ll put it in their medicine cabinets, or in their house, and then there’s a possibility there’s a loved one or somebody that’s abusing the substance may come in and take it out of their house,” Barber said.
Officers have collected 3.2 million dosage units of unused prescription pills since the program started.
Jessica Vasquez, a public health educator from the Carteret County Health Department, was also at the event. She said the department partners with the sheriff’s office to educate people about substance abuse.
“First, we want to let you know that we do have a behavioral health and resource list at our Carteret County Health Department website,” said Vasquez. You can click here for that resource list.
Vasquez also says the prescription take-back program isn’t just about keeping drugs from substance users, but also from curious minds playing at home.
“Some folks who may have younger family members may not know that they should be locking their medicines, so that children and youth do not get into their medicines,” Vasquez said.
Officials say each year, more people know about the potential harm their pills can cause.
“Every time we do it, somebody new comes up and are so grateful we are taking it off the street,” said Barber.
Officials with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office offered ways you can get rid of your unwanted prescription drugs.
Click here for more details on where to drop off unused drugs.
Follow Victoria Holmes on Twitter @VicAntHol