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Pills collected at Medicine Drop

The Franklin Press - 7/6/2018

More than 24,000 dosage units of prescription medication were taken off the streets in June when the Macon County Sheriff's Office, Franklin Police Department and Highlands Police Department joined forces with Macon County Public Health for an Operation Medicine Drop collection event.

Law enforcement officers and public health staff manned two drop-off locations, one at Ingles on Georgia Road in Franklin and one at Bryson's Food Store in Highlands.

"At the Franklin location we took in 13,700 dosage units and in Highlands we collected an additional 11,000 units," MCPH Population Health Section Administrator Lynn Baker said. "If you think of that by weight, it would be roughly 24.7 pounds of medication that was collected total."

Baker added that the variety of medications varied, as did the age and the packaging of the pills that were brought in.

"Doing the medicine drops twice a year serves as a reminder for people to clean

out their medicine cabinets and dispose of unused medications properly," Baker said. "We collected one bottle of pills that was dated 1976. Those came from a home where the person was no longer living, so a family member that was cleaning out the property brought them to us."

Operation Medicine Drop is a function of the MountainWise Substance Abuse Task Force. That entity is made up of public health employees, elected officials, law enforcement personnel and community stakeholders.

"We consider the Operation Medicine Drop initiative an important one as we try to do everything we can to stop the abuse of opioids and other prescription medications in Macon County," sheriff Robert Holland said. "Every pill that we collect is one that will never wind up on our streets."

Anyone wishing to get rid of unused or unwanted medication without waiting for the next Operation Medicine Drop takeback event can take those medications to the Franklin Police Department or the Macon County Sheriff's Office annex on Palmer Street in Franklin.


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