Brunswick and New Hanover Counties are in the top ten for prescription drug overdoses in North Carolina. According to the National Institute on Drugs (NIDA), in 2014, 54% of prescription drugs were obtained free from a friend or relative.
“About 165 kids — or roughly four school busloads of children — are seen in emergency rooms for medication-related treatment every day in the U.S.,” said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Every one of those trips was preventable. We can and must do better.”
In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) hosted the first ever national prescription drug take-back event. All 50 states participated with a total of more than 4,000 events and over 242,000 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in. Six years later during the May 2016 event, at over 5,400 sites the DEA collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons.
Last fall in New Hanover County we also broke our record. The team of community partners lead by New Hanover Regional Medical Center collected over 900 pounds of pills.
Let’s continue to take the necessary steps to protect our youth and clean out our medicine cabinets. The next event in New Hanover County will be Saturday, September 17th from 9am to noon at the Medical Mall on 17th Street. Follow the Cape Fear Coalition on Facebook for more information about the New Hanover event. Follow the Brunswick Coalition on Facebook for more information about the upcoming Brunswick County event.
Can’t make an event or need to get your medication out of your home right away, drop them off at one of the permanent medication drop boxes in your area. Click here for Brunswick County’s locations and here for New Hanover County’s location. If you live out of these two counties, click here to choose your county and find the one closest to you.