What do you do with your expired and un-necessary prescription drugs? Certainly, disposing them in a way that keeps them from becoming a hazard is top priority. That’s why The Outer Banks Hospital has joined with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Nags Head Police Department, Dare CASA (Coalition Against Substance Abuse), CRAB (Combating Prescription Drug Abuse), CYP (Children and Youth Partnership for Dare County), and Dare County Department of Public Health to provide a medicine drop on Wednesday May 11, from 8am-6pm onsite at the hospital.

Unused medications that are not properly disposed of pose several threats. Prescription and over the counter medications left unsecured put children and adults at risk. Unintentional poisoning from prescription medications is on the rise in North Carolina – since 1999, nearly 4,500 people died from prescription poisoning. Accidental poisoning, including childhood deaths, can be prevented by proper handling and disposal of prescription and over the counter medications.

These medications may be abused by family members with substance abuse problems or diverted to individuals for whom its use is inappropriate. By some accounts, 2,500 teens per day get high for the first time with meds found in the home.

The Outer Banks Hospital’s safe disposal event allows the community to dispose of their over-the-counter drugs properly in order to protect families and the environment. What’s more, medicine drop events are proven to be a valuable community service. In 2010, over 2 million doses of medications were received and destroyed statewide through medicine drop initiatives.

“We are pleased to partner in this community initiative,” said Chief Kevin Brinkley of the Nags Head Police Department. The Town of Nags Head Mobile Command Trailer will be used for the drop. The trailer will be parked conveniently in the north parking lot of the Outer Banks Hospital – a location that is visible from HWY 158 and the hospital entrance. The Dare County Sheriff’s Office will staff the command trailer and will collect, properly destroy and dispose of prescription and over the counter medications. This medicine drop will not accept biohazardous materials.

According to Dare’s Health Director Anne Thomas, substance abuse is consistently identified as a major community health problem for Dare County according to recently Community Health Assessments conducted by Healthy Carolinians. Thomas has assigned a health educator to be on-site to provide prevention education and answer participant questions about safe drug handling.

“We are delighted to collaborate with key community partners on this effort,” remarked Amy Montgomery, Community Outreach Director at The Outer Banks Hospital. “The health, safety and wellness of our community is very important to us at The Outer Banks Hospital. This event provides an opportunity to provide a community service as well as bring attention to accidental child poisoning and substance abuse prevention.”

The Outer Banks Hospital’s Community Medicine Drop occurs on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 from 8:00am-6:00pm at The Outer Banks Hospital North Employee Parking Lot. Participating organizations will be onsite to offer assistance and answer questions about drug abuse and prevention.