Local organizations partnered with The Outer Banks Hospital for the first hospital-sponsored Community Medicine Drop event on May 11th.  More than  14,000 pills were collected, thanks to a collaboration among the Dare County Sheriff’s Department, Town of Nags Head Police Department, Dare CASA (Coalition Against Substance Abuse), CRxAb (Combating Prescription Drug Abuse), CYP (Children and Youth Partnership for Dare County), the Dare County Department of Public Health and Healthy Carolinians of the Outer Banks.

Wednesday’s Medicine Drop was held on the grounds of The Outer Banks Hospital, where the Mobile Command Center from the Nags Head Police Department was set up. The Center was staffed by Dare County Sheriff’s Deputies, Nags Head Police Officers, Outer Banks Hospital personnel, Staff from the Dare County Department of Public Health, and community volunteers.  Persons wishing to drop off unused prescription drugs drove by and handed off their prescriptions.   

Cathy Overstreet (photo, left), a founding member of CRxAb, demonstrated her dedication to the cause by driving by and dropping off before reporting to volunteer for the event. “I’ve lost former students and other folks I care for to the epidemic of prescription drug abuse,” she said. “I am dedicated to this cause.”  Deputy Sheriff (photo, right) Bobby Henning was on-hand to properly collect drugs at the event.

“For our first Medicine Drop, we are delighted with the response,” remarked Amy Montgomery, Community Outreach Director at The Outer Banks Hospital. “The Outer Banks Hospital is committed to the health, safety and wellness of our community.  We look forward to coordinating this service again in the fall.” 

For several years, substance abuse has been identified as a top health problem for Dare County according to recently Community Health Assessments conducted by Healthy Carolinians and the Dare County Department of Public Health. Disposing of unwanted and or expired prescriptions is one way we can combat the problem.

Sheriff Doug Doughtie made the following observation. “Drug abusers are continually looking for opportunities to get drugs.  Often they are stolen from the medicine cabinets of unsuspecting relatives or friends, who may have forgotten that the drugs were even there.  We are ecstatic that we were able to remove this quantity of pills from potential street access.”

In addition to their work on this important community event, the Dare County Sheriff’s Office collects and properly destroys and disposes of prescription and over the counter medications year-round.

“It’s not necessary to wait until the next Medicine Drop event to dispose of your unwanted prescriptions,” remarked Sheriff Doughtie. “You may bring them by the Dare County Sheriff’s Office during regular business hours and we will dispose of them for you, according to law.” The Sheriff’s Office is located at the Dare County Justice Center in Manteo, just inside the Courthouse Building. Office hours are Monday- Friday 8:30-5:00 pm.

Unused prescription drugs, notably narcotics, that are not properly disposed of pose several threats. In addition to their potential to be stolen and abused by family members with substance abuse problems or sold to individuals who were not prescribed the medication, these prescription and over the counter medications can also pose a child-health risk.  Childhood poisoning and deaths can be prevented by proper handling and disposal of prescription and over the counter medications.

By all measures, the Medicine Drop event was a huge success.  Plans are in the works to repeat the event in the fall.  If there are questions, or if you wish to sponsor or help in the next event, you may contact  Amy Montgomery at The Outer Banks Hospital or Chief Deputy Steve Hoggard at the Dare County Sheriff’s Office for further information.

About Community Outreach at The Outer Banks Hospital

The mission of the Outer Banks Hospital is to enhance quality of life for the residents and visitors of Dare County and the surrounding region by promoting wellness and providing the highest quality healthcare services. The Outer Banks Hospital's 's Department of Community Outreach helps achieve this mission by working collaboratively with community partners to foster programs that positively impact the health status of residents, visitors  and the community at large.  Outer Banks Hospital Community Outreach initiatives are developed in response to community need, including, but not limited to the Outer Banks Hospital's Cancer Care Services.  For more information about programs and services, contact Amy Montgomery, Director of Community Outreach, 252-449-4516.