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Drug-collection events net 1 million doses statewide

Posted March 24, 2010

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— More than 1 million doses of old prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected across North Carolina last week as part of Operation Medicine Drop, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.

Operation Medicine Drop aimed to cut down on prescription drug abuse by encouraging people to properly dispose of old drugs that are no longer needed. State and local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Safe Kids North Carolina sponsored more than 200 prescription drug take-back events across North Carolina last week, which also was National Poison Prevention Week.

“In just one week, people across our state went through their medicine cabinets and got rid of more than a million doses of drugs that could have fallen into the wrong hands and been abused,” Cooper said in a statement. “We must continue to get the word out about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, especially among young people."

Among the drugs collected across the state were controlled substances like hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl patches. One site collected a bottle of liquid morphine that dated to the 1960s, officials said.

The Fayetteville Police Department collected more than 85,000 doses, second only to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, which collected more than 87,000 doses.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications cause more than three-fourths of all unintentional poisonings in North Carolina, according to the state Division of Public Health.

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