RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - North Carolinians are encouraged to safely dispose of unused or expired medications during National Poison Prevention Week at one of the Operation Medicine Drop events around the state.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning with more than 64,000 children going to an emergency room for medicine poisoning each year, according to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide. That's one child every eight minutes.
During Operation Medicine Drop events, people can drop off over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, samples and pet medications with no questions asked.
Law enforcement partners will help dispose of the medications in the same secure way they dispose of other drug items. Drugs should not be flushed or thrown away in the garbage because they may contaminate water sources.
A partnership of the N.C. Department of Insurance's Safe Kids North Carolina program, the State Bureau of Investigation, Riverkeepers Alliance and other agencies, Operation Medicine Drop events have retrieved and destroyed approximately 89 million doses of medications at 2,000 events since 2010.
To find a drop box near you, visit the N.C. Safe Kids website.