Operation Medicine Cabinet returns to High Country

Article Published: May. 14 | Modified: May. 18
Operation Medicine Cabinet returns to High Country

The High Country’s Operation Medicine Cabinet will serve a dual purpose in keeping the region’s youth and streams devoid of dangerous and potentially addictive substances.

Residents are encouraged to bring their outdated and unused prescription drugs and any other medical supplies to various drop-off points from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 17.

Take-back locations will be made available at the Foscoe Fire Department and the three Food Lion locations in Deep Gap, Boone and Blowing Rock.

Any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications will be accepted with no questions asked.

The drop-off initiative began on Oct. 3, 2009, when a broad coalition of community partners came together to create the first drug take-back day in the High Country.

Since then, a total of nine Operation Medicine Cabinet events have been held every May and October as part of the Watauga County Household Hazardous Waste Day. According to OMC, the efforts have resulted in more than 1.2 million pills and 132 gallons of liquid medicine being properly disposed, with more than 1,300 people participating.

“From a law enforcement perspective, one of our most important jobs is to work diligently and proactively to prevent drug abuse,” Watauga County Sherriff Len Hagaman said. “By hosting an amnesty day that allows the public to turn in any kind of unused or unwanted medications, hopefully, we will keep those drugs off the street and out of the hands of children.”

The take-back days have also had a positive impact on the environment.

“A recent investigation by the Associated Press found a whole host of pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, pain medication, anti-depressants, sex hormones, heart and blood pressure medicine, in the drinking water supplies of more than 40 million Americans,” said Donna Lisenby, Watauga Riverkeeper.

For more information, visit DrugTakeBackDay.com.

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