By WECT Staff | March 10, 2021 at 3:39 PM EST – Updated April 26 at 4:56 PM
SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) – Dosher Memorial Hospital collected a record amount of unwanted medications at the recent drug drop-off event held on April 22.
People from 730 local households discarded more than 30,000 expired or unwanted narcotic pills and nearly 3,700 milliliters of narcotic liquids.
“The large turnout for this event speaks to our community’s desire to dispose of their medications safely and responsibly,” said Dosher CEO and CMO Dr. Brad Hilaman. “Proper drug disposal saves lives and protects the environment, and we want to thank local residents for being conscientious about how they discard their medications.”
The traffic Thursday in Southport wasn’t for a parade or even a car crash; instead the sheriff’s office was called in to help corral a long line of cars as drivers handed over their unwanted medicines to Dosher Hospital.
“Little surprised to see the line of traffic just leaving town. I’ve never seen it quite like this before,” said Lauren Delgosh from the front seat of her car. “I think it’s fantastic, so the meds don’t get in the wrong hands.”
The drive-through drop-off was the 22nd “Operation Medicine Cabinet,” and this year’s event coincided with Earth Day.
“We’re actually seeing people drop off two bottles of medication and we’ve seen people drop off bags of medication but we’re really happy to see them bring it here and not actually flushing it down the toilet,” said Dosher Hospital president Lynda Stanley.
Flushing unwanted medication is not recommended. Studies show it ultimately ends up in lakes, streams and waterways, and can harm fish and wildlife.
Safety precautions were in place for the drive-through drop-off event and law enforcement officers from Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department and Southport Police were on hand to collect the unwanted medications for incineration.
At Dosher’s last drug drop-off in October 2019, close to 400 households discarded more than 8,000 expired or unwanted narcotic pills and nearly 1,280 milliliters of narcotic liquids.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.