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Police collect unneeded medications

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Attorney General Josh Stein, right, talks with Rocky Mount Interim Police Chief Willie Williams, center, and Rocky Mount Police Sgt. Scott Dew during the drug take back event Wednesday at the Rocky Mount Police Department.

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Thursday, October 25, 2018

A high-ranking state official came to Rocky Mount as local law enforcement held an event Wednesday to help residents get unneeded prescription medications out of their homes and especially out of the reach of children.

State Attorney General Josh Stein joined the Rocky Mount Police Department to highlight the agency’s prescription drug take-back event. Rocky Mount police’s Operation Medicine Drop helped raise awareness in advance of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

According to reports, three people in North Carolina die every day from a medication or drug overdose. The majority of people who misuse prescription drugs reportedly get the drugs from family and friends and are often secretly taken from medicine cabinets. 

The opioid epidemic is the focus of a major initiative by Stein, who said safely disposing of unused medication is an important measure everyone can take to help combat the epidemic that’s tearing apart families across North Carolina.

“There are too many North Carolinians and Nash and Edgecombe counties residents who are dying from opioid overdoses and there are even more than that living a life captured by addiction,” he said, “so we have to do everything we can to reduce the number of people that become addicted to these very dangerous drugs.”

Rocky Mount police set up outside in front of the police station where boxes and trash cans were used to collect the over-the-counter prescription drugs along with pamphlet information that was given out. Sgt. Scott Dew, who is in charge of the department’s Crime Scene Division, said people are encouraged to drop off unneeded prescription drugs everyday at the station.

He added there were several people that brought by bags of pills that were usually left in their medicine cabinets over a long period of time. 

“We didn’t ask for names or care what type of medicine or pills they were,” Dew said. “If you can save one life, it’s worth the effort to go into your cabinet, get them out of the house, so no kid gets a hold of something they don’t need.”

The prescription drug take-back events take place with the assistance of the state Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina’s Operation Medicine Drop, the State Bureau of Investigation and the DEA. Local drug take-back events will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Tarboro Police Department, Pinetops Police Department and Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office.

Permanment drop box locations include the Nashville Police Department, Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Pinetops Police Department, Tarboro Police Department and Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office. 

Stein said the pills collected from the take-back events throughout the state will be collected by the SBI and taken to a facility in Alamance County where they will be burned.

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