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Thursday, October 4, 2012
Operation Medicine Drop - Success In Worcester County
‘OPERATION MEDICINE DROP – Safe Communities/Healthy Waterways’ NETS 662 LBS UNUSED MEDS IN 2012
Two New Permanent Drop Off Locations Contribute to Enormous Yearly Drug Take Back Totals
Berlin, MD - Assateague COASTKEEPER announced today the September 29 Operation Medicine Drop drug take-back day netted 134 lbs of expired or unused medications throughout Worcester County in a four hour period.
“We collected 217 lbs of medications during our Spring 2012 event and another 134 lbs this past weekend,” Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastkeeper, explained.
“In addition, this year Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocean City Police Department offered two permanent drop off boxes at the Ocean Pines Police Station and the Ocean City Public Safety Building, which collected 311 lbs of medications between May 30 and October 1, so we saw a total of 662 lbs of medications kept out of our waterways in 2012!”
Recent research by the U.S. Geological Service now confirms that some flushed drugs pass largely unaltered through our wastewater treatment plants and enter our Bays and other waters. Recent studies have found ‘inter-sex’ largemouth bass, with both male and female reproductive organs, in ponds and lakes on Delmarva, an indicator of biological interference from pharmaceuticals in our waterways.
Unused medications, if not properly disposed of, can find their way into the community, posing a health threat to families, especially small children who often ingest medications mistaking them for candy. Unused medications also pose a safety threat to the community if narcotic, or controlled prescriptions, find their way into the wrong hands.
Detective Jeffrey Johns, with the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, has been tracking the controlled prescription pills collected at both drop boxes that are commonly possessed by drug addicts, drug seekers and drug dealers who often illegally obtain/abuse these controlled medications.
“The Ocean City drop box has yielded 1,895 individual controlled prescription pills with a street value of approximately $10,135 dollars,” Johns said. “The Ocean Pines drop box has yielded 2,696 individual controlled prescription pills with a street value of approximately $20,889 dollars.”
The Ocean City permanent drug drop box is located in the front lobby of the Ocean City Police Department (6501 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD) and is available to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Ocean Pines permanent drug drop box is located in the front lobby of the Ocean Pines Police Department (239 Ocean Parkway, Ocean Pines, MD ) and is available to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Detective Johns noted, “Both these permanent drug drop boxes were sponsored by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) and funded by the Ocean City Elks Lodge Drug Awareness Program, and we greatly appreciate their support.”
“We encourage Worcester County residents to use these permanent drop boxes,” Phillips said, “ and we’re working with local agencies to acquire at least one more box in the south end of the county. This is a huge benefit to the community and gives folks an option to clean out their medicine cabinets more often.”