Area counties combat pill misuse through Operation Medicine Drop
In a bid to curb prescription pill misuse and other problems, several Central Carolina counties will hold Operation Medicine Drop events in conjunction with National Poison Prevention Week, which began Monday.
Residents can drop off expired or unused prescription pills at more than a dozen locations in Harnett and Moore counties this Saturday as part of the statewide effort to curtail prescription pill abuse and pill-related deaths. Chatham and Lee counties are not holding events, but prescription pill drop-off boxes at various locations are available year-round.
The Moore County Sheriff's Office has combated prescription pill abuse for several years, said Narcotics Division Capt. Jerrell Seawell, and the events are an excellent way to get area citizens involved.
"We recognize the problem our society is facing," Seawell said. "This is another way of reaching out with the community to get these unwanted and unused pills off the street."
In the past three years, more than one million pills have been taken off the streets in Moore County through the various drop-off programs, he said.
"It's important citizens safeguard their medicine and get rid of unwanted and expired pills," Seawell said.
Harnett County Sheriff's Deputy Dallas Pastirik said there will be several locations throughout the county in central areas to increase the community impact.
"We have an epidemic nationwide," Pastirik said. "People are switching from the more commonly known drugs and turning to pills. It's so easily accessible, why go out and pay someone on the streets when you can go to your grandmother's medicine cabinet?"
There will be a marked patrol car at every location with a deputy supplying information about the dangers of prescription pills, he said.
Harnett County Operation Medicine Drop locations for 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 23 are:
* Food Lion, located at 119 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd., Lillington.
* Walmart, located at 590 E. Jackson Blvd., Erwin.
* Coats Pharmacy, located at 393 N. McKinley St., Coats.
* Angier Discount Drug Store, located at 253 N. Raleigh St., Angier.
* Food Lion, located at 8 The Square At Lillington.
* Food Lion, located at 3260 Ray Road, Spring Lake.
* Walgreens Drug Store, located at 1501 W. Cumberland St., Dunn.
Moore County Operation Medicine Drop locations for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 23 are:
* Lowes Foods, located at N.C. Highway 221, Pinehurst.
* Aberdeen Recreation Station, located at U.S. Highway 1, Aberdeen.
* Cooper's Pharmacy, located at 3353 U.S. Highway 1, Vass.
* Food Lion, located at 7475 N.C. Highway 22, Whispering Pines.
* Food Lion, located at 1005 Monroe St., Carthage.
* Just Save Grocery Store, N.C. Highway 705, Robbins.
Permanent prescription pill drop-off sites in Lee County, available year-round, are:
* Sanford Police Department, located at 225 E. Weatherspoon St., Sanford.
* Lee County Sheriff's Office, located at 1401 Elm St., Sanford.
Permanent prescription pill drop off sites in Chatham County, available year-round, include.
* Pittsboro Police Department, 635 East St., Pittsboro.