Last updated: May 14. 2014 12:57PM - 483 Views

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Now is the time of year when, as the seasons change, our thoughts turn to clearing out and cleaning up.

We are recommending as you do that to start with your medicine cabinet, clearing shelves of old medications that have been sitting there for far too long. And once the shelves are cleaned, we hope the discarded medications will be taken to Walgreens on Friday during the Police Department’s now annual Operation Medicine Drop.

Medicine Drop is one of those community programs that make sense, and we hope local residents will see the good in it and take part, being active participants in events that will help the environment and, in many cases, prevent someone from overdosing or being poisoned.

Now in its fifth year, the program, sponsored by the Clinton Police Department, with help this year from Walgreen, offers residents across the county an opportunity to rid their medicine cabinets of old and potentially dangerous drugs that are just a flush away from heading into our water system. Even scarier, those same drugs may be just moments away from landing in the hands of those who don’t need them, like our children or a drug addict.

With Medicine Drop, the task of discarding medications becomes a lot easier and far, far safer.

The event is scheduled for Friday, May 16, from 9 a.m. until noon at the College Street Walgreens in Clinton. Officers will be on hand to accept the medications residents bring in. All they ask is that the medicines be in their bottles, with labels still in tact. Officers will discard of them in an appropriate manner and, at the same time, protect the identities of those with names on the prescription med bottles.

Without those labels, laws will not allow officers to discard of them, making the effort a moot one at best.

So as you do that cleaning this week, why not make the cleanup effort include the medicine cabinet where, in just about every household, there is likely expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions hanging around.

Rather than tossing them in the trash, which often lands them in the hands of addicts who have no problem digging around in someone else’s garbage for a quick fix, take them to the Medicine Drop for proper disposal.

Instead of flushing them down the toilet, which is yet another general way people dispose of those unwanted drugs, utilize the venue being made available Friday. Doing so ensures that potentially dangerous medications don’t end up in the water supply, yet another problem that police are trying to avoid.

The event is already a popular one, with the total weight of dosage units discarded doubling each year. In Sampson County alone, officers estimate that over 58 pounds have been discarded through Operation Medicine Drop this year alone, with that number expected to double before year’s end.

It’s a worthwhile event and one we support wholeheartedly. Many residents already do, too, based on the numbers of discarded drugs locally. Our hope is that more participate this year, and even more the next.

And for those who don’t make it to Friday’s Medicine Drop there is also the daily drop site at the Police Department, opened for residents’ convenience Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., another way officers are trying to ensure that medicines get out of cabinets and in the right hands as quickly as possible.

We thank the Police Department and local businesses for their willingness to help through Medicine Drop each year because we believe disposing of your medications in a safe, secure way is really the only way.

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