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HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND: Operation Medicine Drop collects prescription drugs

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you've been wondering what to do with old prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet, you have a chance to get rid of them safely this weekend.

Safe Kids North Carolina and Operation Medicine Drop are partnering with national, state and local agencies to host more than 141 take-back events in 51 North Carolina counties tomorrow. The public can safely and conveniently dispose of unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications.

The program has collected and destroyed more than 30 million dosages of medications over the past three years.

"Over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, samples and pet medications will be accepted with no questions asked," Safe Kids North Carolina Director Kelly Ransdell said.

Each year since 2001, an average of nearly 80,000 unintentional non-fatal poisonings among children were treated in emergency rooms throughout the country, with medications being the predominant cause of poisonings among young children. Among pediatric exposures, there has been a decrease in the exposures to cough and cold medicines, but an increase in exposure to pain killers since 2006.

Organizers say proper disposal through events like this help prevent poisonings and drug abuse and protect waterways from drugs that are incorrectly flushed down toilets or thrown in the trash.

Click here to find a drug drop-off event near you.

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