MYRTLE BEACH — During a national effort to collect unwanted and unused prescription drugs from area residents, officials in Conway and North Myrtle Beach collected more than 350 pounds of drugs, according to authorities
Officers along with several others in Horry and Georgetown counties participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration Take Back event on Oct. 27 to collect the prescription drugs. The service was free and those who dropped off pills and other unwanted or expired drugs remained anonymous.
Conway police collected 27 pounds of drugs during the event, said Lt. Selena Small.
While in North Myrtle Beach, officials collected the most in the state with 340 pounds of drugs, Mayor Marilyn Hatley said.
About 105 people dropped off the drugs that included prescription and over the counter medications, police said. The breakdown includes 3,953 dosage units of controlled drugs; about 39,122 dosage units of non-controlled drugs; and about 11,521 dosage units of over the counter medications
Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and state and local law enforcement partners. In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and other law enforcement agencies took in over 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 tons—of pills.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, according to the news release. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department has a secure medicine drop off box available to residents throughout the year at its Second Avenue South headquarters, Hatley said. Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell also made a stop at the North Myrtle Beach collection site.
“The drop-offs are also another way in which our residents and public safety personnel can informally meet and interact with each other,” Hatley said.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.