On Saturday, May 13, the High Country will host its annual drug take-back day where unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, syringes or other medical supplies can be dropped off with law enforcement officers in order to be properly disposed of. Any prescription or over-the-counter medications will be accepted -no questions asked.
Since the inaugural drug take-back day in 2009, Watauga County Sherriff’s Office, along with Boone, Blowing Rock and Seven Devils Police departments have collaborated with community partners to collect and dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Proper disposal of prescription medications has long been a concern for law enforcement. Many medicine cabinets contain unused or outdated medications, making them accessible to young people and drug abusers.
“From a law enforcement perspective, one of our most important jobs is to work diligently and proactively to prevent drug abuse,” said Watauga County Sherriff Len D. Hagaman. “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.”
Through the efforts of High Country Operation Medicine Cabinet, over 1.5 million pills and 132 gallons of liquids have been properly disposed of since 2009.
This year’s event is supported in part through a collaboration with Western Youth Network and Watauga Substance Abuse Prevention collaborative, and grant funding through Project Lazarus’ North Carolina Disposal Initiative. This project seeks to increase awareness, knowledge, and behaviors surrounding prescription medications and appropriate disposal methods.
Medications will be collected on Saturday, May 13, 10:00am to 2:00pm at four community take-back locations: Foscoe Fire Department, Food Lion – Deep Gap, Food Lion – Boone, and Food Lion – Blowing Rock.
In addition to the High Country Operation Medicine Cabinet drug take-back day, three community prescription medication drop-off sites are available in Watauga County; Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Boone Police Department, and Blowing Rock Police Department all offer secure prescription medication drop-boxes that can be accessed by the public with no questions asked.