WEST LIBERTY – After a four-month winter rest, Operation UNITE’s “Pill Dragon” emerged with a renewed hunger.

The mobile incinerator made its first appearance of 2011 at the Morgan County Community Center where it consumed 7,500 unwanted, unused or out-of-date pills during a free “Clean Your Medicine Cabinet Out Day” event.

Pills were brought in by a number of citizens, the county coroner and a local doctor.

This was the Pill Dragon’s 16th event since being unveiled in August of last year. To date it has incinerated 263,262 prescription or over-the-counter medications.

The Pill Dragon is sponsored by Operation UNITE, PRIDE and the Kentucky Army National Guard.

Morgan County is currently participating in UNITE’s “Accidental Dealer” campaign to raise awareness of the need to properly store and dispose of medications.

“The Pill Dragon offers citizens an easy way to dispose of old or unwanted medications,” noted Karen Kelly, director of UNITE. “This is important for two reasons: It reduces your risk of being a victim of a burglary or theft and it avoids the potential health and environmental effects of having these substances in our water system and soil.”

Currently nine other Pill Dragon events are scheduled throughout southern and eastern Kentucky. To see a list of these events visit the Pill Dragon webpage.