The growing epidemic of opioid addiction and the frequent misuse of medication is leading the local police department and the Sampson County Substance Abuse Coalition to take measures necessary to raise awareness of the issue.
In an effort to raise awareness of accidental overdoses due to opiates and other prescription drugs, the Clinton Police Department has partnered with the local coalition for the statewide Safe Kids NC Operation Medicine Drop Campaign.
According to Clinton Police Lt. Stokes McKoy, medication take back stations will be at Clinton Drug March 21 and the Walmart parking lot March 24, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
“We are asking people to bring any expired or unused prescription medications that need to be disposed of properly,” McKoy said. “Medicine take back stations do not accept needles.”
According to McKoy, items that are accepted include any expired, unused, over-the-counter and prescription medication in a pill form. It is recommended that all medications be transported in a marked container.
“The purpose of this event is to allow the public a place to dispose of any expired or unused prescription medications and have it properly destroyed,” McKoy explained. “the public just has to bring their medications to either of the mentioned locations and give them over to us. We then categorize them, weigh them and destroy them by use of an incinerator. This includes the medication bottles so all information is protected.”
Taking part in the campaign isn’t the only measure local law enforcement and coalition members are taking. A permanent medication disposal box is now housed at the department as a location the public can feel safe to take their medication for proper disposal.
“We ask the residents to bring any narcotics, strong pain medicines, that you can’t dispose of, to the medicine drop box,” Sgt. Robbie King with the Clinton Police Department said.
King monitors the drop box and on a rotation schedule, empties the contents and logs them into the department’s system. Once documentation is made, King said the medicine is properly disposed.
“It’s important to discard any unused or outdated medication that can be harmful to anyone, especially if children get it in their hands,” King explained. “You also have a lot of people who are breaking into homes, looking for those narcotic drugs. Getting the medicine out of the house will help keep homeowners safe.”
Since the late 90s, the problem with abusing prescription medication has steadily grown. Having the medication drop box allows the medicines to be properly disposed of and kept from the hands of a someone who could possibly overdose.
Medication can be dropped off at the department any time of day, Monday through Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.