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      Operation Medicine Cabinet: Drop off your old drugs

      It's time to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of expired, unwanted or unused drugs.

      Police agencies across the country will be collecting your old medications this Saturday, September 25 as part of National Take Back Day. The program is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The goal of the day is to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances. The drugs will be disposed of in a safe, non-hazardous way and it's anonymous.

      National Guard troops will also take part in "Operation Medicine Cabinet," the one-day collaborative effort between the DEA, state and local law enforcement agencies as well as substance abuse prevention organizations. It's the first state-wide prescription drug disposal program in the country.

      The hope is that by getting these medications out of homes, they'll be less susceptible to misuse and abuse.

      Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U-S have increased at alarming rates, and the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses is up as well. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are taken from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Also, many people don't know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away, which are both potential safety and health hazards.

      There are several locations you can drop off unwanted medications, including Utica's Public Safety Center at 234 James St. and the Fulton police department from 10am-2pm.

      Click here to find a drop-off location near you.