ELM CITY — The first of four Operation Medicine Drop collections for expired and unused medications is planned from 2-7 p.m. today at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office substation in Elm City.
Drug drop-offs will be held Monday through Thursday in an effort to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs safely and prevent them from getting into the wrong hands or contaminating landfills and waterways.
Unintentional poisoning deaths have increased by nearly 300 percent in North Carolina, according to state figures, spiking from 297 in 1999 to 1,104 in 2012. Officials say 91 percent of those poisoning deaths are drug- or medication-related.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning worldwide, with more than 67,000 children treated for medication overdose and poisoning in hospital emergency rooms each year.
Residents are invited to bring prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications for safe disposal. After being counted and inventoried, the medications are turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation to be destroyed in an incinerator.
Collections are also planned from 2-7 p.m. Tuesday at the sheriff’s office’s Sims substation, 2-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Lucama substation and 2-7 p.m. Thursday at the Saratoga substation.
For more information call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office at 252-237-2118.