Sandi Nelson

Expired prescription drugs dangerous to kids and pets

Police will not collect unwanted prescriptions

Residents are asked to dispose of drugs responsibly.

Health Canada, in partnership with Public Safety Canada, Partnership for a Drug Free Canada and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are reminding the public to drop off unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs at their local pharmacy leading up to the second annual National Prescription Drug Drop-off day Saturday, May 10.

“We don’t want them to throw them into regular trash, it gets into the water supply, it’s not good for the environment,” said Pharmasave pharmacist Sandi Nelson. “Sometimes (even) people breaking into homes can take them, we don’t want people to take expired medications and we don’t want them in the garbage … for dogs, raccoons and kids.”

Safety concerns around the proliferation of unused prescription drugs prompted the  joint initiative for the awareness day beginning in 2013.

The program is aimed at promoting safe storage and disposal of prescription, over-the-counter and other drugs, reducing the possibility of diversion of drugs and accidental poisonings.

“People don’t know how important it is not to have those medications at home. (They) don’t realize pharmacies take them anytime,” Nelson said. “It’s about awareness that pharmacies can take this and it’s not getting into landfills and the water supply.”

Both Pharmasave on Oak Bay Avenue and Estevan Pharmacy are accepting unused, and or expired pharmaceuticals for drop off and safe disposal and accept them during all hours of operation, all-year round.

Despite some national advertising pointing to police departments taking the pharmaceuticals, local detachments including the Oak Bay Police Department are not taking them and are directing anyone with unneeded medication to put them into a single container, like a ziplock bag and take them to a local pharmacy. There is no need to disclose what type of drug it is, who it was prescribed for or why.

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