North Carolina residents have turned in millions of unused pills this year as part of a effort to fight substance abuse. State Attorney General Roy Cooper says more than 9,500,000 prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected during the fall months by police agencies statewide.
They participated in "Operation Medicine Drop" -- a program that urges people to turn in unused or expired medications. The Durham Police Department led the state in the drug collection effort. Officers there took in more than 773,000 doses. Greensboro officers were close behind collecting about 735,000 doses.
Cooper says the disposal events not only cut down on abuse but also prevent improper disposal. Environmental experts say old drugs that are flushed down toilets can contaminate water supplies.