The State Bureau of Investigation delivered 32,247 pounds of unused prescription medications to a state-approved incinerator May 2 to be destroyed.

This final step in Operation Medicine Drop, is the culmination of many collection events that have occurred statewide aiming to keep addictive pills away from children, teens and addicts and protects waterways from contamination.

For the past several months, thousands of people across the state have removed dangerous medications from their homes and taken the prescription pills to designated safe locations such as drug stores or law enforcement centers.

The number of pills incinerated May 2 equals approximately 24.2 million dosage units. Once people have taken their unused, unwanted or expired medications to a designated collection spot, local law enforcement agencies take the pills to one of eight SBI field offices. SBI agents then deliver the pills to a central location in Raleigh to be loaded onto trucks and taken to a state-approved incinerator.

Operation Medicine Drop is a joint effort among local law enforcement agencies, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the N.C. Dept. of Justice and the Dept. of Insurance in partnership with Safe Kids of North Carolina.

Operation Medicine Drop is held twice a year, spring and fall. However, there are permanent drop box locations you can take advantage of anytime, at the Boone, Blowing Rock and Appalachian State Police Departments, the Watauga County Sheriff's office, and at Boone Drug Deerfield and Boone Drug Newmarket.