Carteret County, NC (April 14, 2023) – The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office joins law enforcement agencies and partners across the county for the semi-annual Operation Medicine Drop prescription drug take-back event on April 22.
Residents are encouraged to drop off no longer needed prescription medications to law enforcement and health officials at any Food Lion grocery store across Carteret County on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the Food Lion locations, law enforcement will also be positioned at the Walmart Supercenter in Morehead City to accept unwanted and unused prescription drugs.
Unused prescription drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal consumption and pose an unacceptable risk to public health and safety. The sheriff’s office coordinates its effort with the N.C. Department of Insurance to bring local focus to the issue of pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse. The event is held in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Annual National Take Back Initiative.
“Carteret County law enforcement continues to work hard to ensure residents have a safe place to discard of their unwanted and unused prescription drugs,” said Sheriff Asa Buck. “In addition to the semi-annual prescription drug take-back event, the sheriff’s office and most local police departments collect prescription drugs year-round to make sure these drugs do not end up in the wrong hands.”
The confidential and anonymous service is free of charge. Syringes, sharps, needles, glass containers, any type of liquids or illegal drugs will not be accepted.
“Carteret County has been in the forefront of battling illegal drug use within the community and the region, collecting thousands of pounds of no longer needed prescription drugs,” the sheriff said. “We invite and encourage everyone to clean out their medicine cabinets and get rid of what they no longer need.”
According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.3 million Americans misused controlled prescription pain relievers. The study show that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The Operation Medicine Drop take-back event provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
The October 2022 drug take-back event in Carteret County brought in 135 pounds of unused or expired prescription medication. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by law enforcement since the fall of 2008 to 5,335 pounds (2.67 tons).
The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office ongoing collection enables residents to turn in unwanted prescription medications at the sheriff’s office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prescriptions are not accepted on holidays and liquid drugs, aerosol medications and hypodermic needles and syringes are not accepted. There is no charge to participate and all disposals are confidential and anonymous.
Agencies also participating in this event include Atlantic Beach Police Department, Beaufort Police Department, Carteret County Government, Carteret County Health Department, Emerald Isle Police Department, Morehead City Police Department, and Newport Police Department.
For more information about the event, visit ncosfm.gov/community-risk-reduction/operation-medicine-drop.