Today is the first day of spring, and with the change in seasons usually comes thoughts of 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 Clinton Drug, Walmart or the Clinton Police Department this Thursday during the PD’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 fourth year, the program, sponsored by the Clinton Police Department with help from Clinton Drug and Walmart, 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 this Thursday, March 21, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Officers will be on hand at Clinton Drug, 307 Beaman St., in Clinton, and Walmart, in Sampson Crossing Shopping Center, 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 one of the locations set up 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 on March 21. 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 numbers of dosage units discarded doubling each year. In Sampson County alone, officers estimate that over 40,000 dosage units have been discarded through Operation Medicine Drop in the first three years. Since 2010, statewide, sites have collected over 30 million dosage units in similar take-back events.
It’s a worthwhile event and one we support wholeheartedly. Many residents already do, too, based on the numbers of discarded dosage units locally. Our hope is that more participate this year, and even more the next.
We thank the Police Department and the local businesses for their willingness to help in this endeavor because we believe disposing of your medications in a safe secure way is really the only way.