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The original item was published from 10/19/2023 8:50:00 AM to 10/19/2023 8:58:26 AM.

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Posted on: October 19, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Carteret County residents urged to dispose of unwanted prescription medication

Operation Medicine Drop - Carteret Fall 23

CARTERET COUNTY, NC (October 19, 2023) – The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with law enforcement agencies and local stakeholders for the semi-annual Operation Medicine Drop prescription drug take-back event on October 28.

Residents are encouraged to drop off no longer needed prescription medications at any Food Lion grocery store across Carteret County on Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additionally, law enforcement will be available at the Walmart Supercenter in Morehead City to accept unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

Unused prescription drugs can become sources for illegal consumption, posing a significant risk to public health and safety. The sheriff’s office collaborates with the N.C. Department of Insurance to raise awareness about the abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances. This event aligns 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 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 ensure these drugs do not fall into the wrong hands.”

This confidential and anonymous service is free of charge. Please note that syringes, sharps, needles, glass containers, any type of liquids, or illegal drugs will not be accepted.

“Carteret County has been at 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 added. “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 also revealed that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from home medicine cabinets. The Operation Medicine Drop take-back event provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

The spring 2023 drug take-back event in Carteret County collected 294 pounds of unused or expired prescription medication, bringing the total amount of prescription drugs collected by law enforcement since the fall of 2008 to 5,629 pounds (2.81 tons).

The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office offers ongoing collection, enabling residents to turn in unwanted prescription medications at the sheriff’s office from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that prescriptions are not accepted on holidays, and liquid drugs, aerosol medications, hypodermic needles, and syringes are not accepted. There is no charge to participate, and all disposals are confidential and anonymous.

Other agencies participating in this event include the 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


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