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Deputies shocked by response to medicine roundups

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a medicine drop at agency headquarters this weekend to rid local streets of prescription pills and help cut down on prescription pill abuse, a growing epidemic across the country, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Nearly 30,000 Americans unintentionally died of a drug overdose in 2007, according to an article the CDC released earlier this year on its website. More specifically, roughly three people overdosed every hour that year, the article said.
As a result the, the CDC classified prescription drug abuse as the “fastest-growing drug problem” in the country.
While prescription pills don’t have the same “stigma” as street drugs, deputies have recently witnessed an increase in the number of prescription medication sales among street dealers, Deputy M. Hill told the Times-News earlier this month.
In addition, the Sheriff’s Office has seen a rise in reports regarding lost and stolen prescription medications.
“Having a collection and disposal program in place helps to get more of these drugs off the street,” Hill said.
Local citizens have dropped off more than 250 pounds of medication since the Sheriff’s Office established the drop box in fall 2011, a department press release said. Deputies said those numbers have shocked them.
“I was very surprised with that high of a number in less than a year of having the program,” Hill said.
The medicine drop will be 9-11 a.m. Saturday at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Weekend medicine drops take place at least every three months for people busy during the week. A permanent drop box is open to the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in the Sheriff’s Office lobby.
Individuals may remain anonymous and can drop off over-the-counter, prescription and liquid medications, in leak-proof containers, vitamins and supplements, medicated ointments and creams and syringes. Aerosol cans will not be accepted.
For more information, call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at (704) 732-9050.

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