The Town of Duck Police Department in conjunction with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and Safe Kids North Carolina will participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 29, 2011 through Operation Medicine Drop. Operation Medicine Drop is a nationwide program that provides the public with an opportunity to prevent poisonings, drug abuse, and theft, as well as protect our waters by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications.
Uniformed law enforcement officers will be at the Town of Duck Public Safety Building located at 1259 Duck Road, Duck, North Carolina on Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to safely and anonymously collect prescription and over-the-counter medicines, to include tablets, capsules, syrups, and ointments. The event will be open to anyone and all are encouraged to participate.
In its first year in 2010, Operation Medicine Drop retrieved and destroyed more than two million dosages of medications at nearly 200 take-back events across North Carolina. The average North Carolinian fills 14 prescriptions annually, which adds up to over 127 million prescriptions filled statewide each year. Studies show that as much as 40% of the drugs dispensed are never used.
Since 1999, approximately 4,500 in North Carolina have died from prescription drug poisoning. More than 75% of all unintentional poisonings are by over-the-counter and prescription medications. Approximately 40% of injuries from unintentional poisonings occur in children under five years old. One in five teens has abused prescription stimulants and tranquilizers.
In 2004, the United States Geological Survey identified 100 different pharmaceuticals in surface water. When medications are flushed or thrown away in the garbage, they can contaminate water sources. Waterways are particularly vulnerable to the effects of drug contamination. Aquatic life, from the smallest plankton to the largest fishes, is harmed when exposure is constant and occurs during crucial times of life cycles.
Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Pharmaceutical drugs, particularly controlled substances, taken without a prescription, or a doctor‘s supervision, can be just as dangerous as taking illicit drugs.
For more information, please contact the Town of Duck Police Department at (252) 261-1112. For more information on the Town of Duck, visit townofduck.com; follow us on Facebook at “Town of Duck”; or sign up for Twitter updates at “DuckPR.”