The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation collected and destroyed 13,485 pounds of unused prescription medications on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, as part of Operation Medicine Drop. That translates into 10.1 million dosage units. Like so many other events, OMD looked a little different this year because of COVID-19. While the spring National Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored by the US Drug Enforcement Administration was postponed in April, local police departments and sheriffs’ offices across the state continued to collect old medications at drop boxes located in their lobbies. On Wednesday, 50 agencies delivered those medications to SBI agents from the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit who were staged at a state approved incinerator in Alamance County where the medications were safely and properly destroyed.
“We appreciate everyone’s support especially the citizens of North Carolina who did their part to make sure these prescriptions were properly disposed of, so they didn’t end up in the wrong hands,” said John Keane, Special Agent in Charge of the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit (DECU).
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 217.3 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.
The next coordinated Operation Medicine Drop event will take place in the fall. You can visit www.morepowerfulnc.org for more information and to find a drop box near you.