NC Attorney General fighting prescription drug abuse. - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

NC Attorney General fighting prescription drug abuse.

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Attorney General Roy Cooper went to school today to warn students about prescription drug abuse. 

"That prescription drug - the one you got from the pharmacy is legal" Cooper told students at North Mecklenburg High School. "Once you give it someone or once you sell it to someone else - you have committed a crime."

Cooper says in 2012, prescription drug abuse accounted for "more than a 1,000 deaths in North Carolina." He says "75% of young people abuse prescription drugs by taking them from their home or a friend's home."

The Attorney General, working with organizations, is sponsoring a statewide contest - having students produce a an original ad less than :30 seconds long "talking to your classmates to try to convince them that abuse of prescription drugs is not what you want to do."

Cooper says the other side of the equation is the proper disposal of prescription drugs. As part of Operation Medicine Drop, which includes hundreds of events where people can bring unwanted pills, the Attorney General is urging resident to clean out their medicine cabinets.

"And one of the reasons for this is because people get their homes broken into to recover prescription drugs" says Cooper.

He says "a lot of people have prescription drugs they're not using and that expired. He wants North Carolinians to properly dispose of pills. "You don't want to flush them or throw them in the trash cans because they can hurt our environment and water supply. They need to be disposed off properly" Cooper says.

The state's chief law enforcement officer says he's working to create more permanent drop off sites. Currently, come police and sheriffs departments have permanent drop off sites. The Attorney General says he wants more places.

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