Deputies team with health officials for Operation Medicine Drop

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Deputies with the Florence County Sheriff's Office and McLeod Health have teamed up to get people to dispose of their old medications safely.

They have announced "Operation Medicine Drop" where people can drop off outdated medications, or drugs they don't use anymore.

"For some reason it just stays in the medicine cabinets and is there to be taken by children, grand children, thieves, and is not used in the way it was intended," said Captain Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff's Office. "In fact sometimes ways that are harmful.  So this is an opportunity to dispose of that medication in a proper environmentally sound way."

Nunn says you shouldn't just throw the medicine away, or flush it down the toilet. Recent studies have shown the medication winds up in the drinking water. That's why they'll put the medicine in a proper container and destroy it.

"It'll go in a container prescribed by the DEA, the medicines will be deposited in the container and sealed, and we will take the container to SLED where it will be incinerated," Nunn added.

'It's our responsibility to make sure that people are taking care of themselves," said Erin Faile with McLeod Health.  "The truth is, most people don't realize that by having this medication around that it's dangerous."

Faile says 40% of child poisonings happen in the Grand Parents home, and that's a health reason to get rid of the medicine. She also says not to give it to someone else, they may be allergic to it, or it could have a negative side effect on other medications they're taking.

"There are people who may have an allergy or has never taken that medication before, or it may interact with something like a blood pressure medicine. That puts you in a potentially dangerous or fatal situation," she added.

Nunn says leaving addictive drugs like Oxycontin or Vicodin in your home can set you up to become the victim of a crime. Family members or friends may steal the medicine, which could end up on the street being sold for illegal use.

"Those are drugs potentially of abuse, and we want to make sure that they are properly disposed of as well."

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