Red Deer, Alberta – The Red Deer RCMP and London Drugs are reminding Red Deerians to properly dispose of unused and expired prescription drugs at the Southpointe Common London Drugs on May 21 as part of National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day.
National Prescription Drop-off Day promotes the safe storage and disposal of prescription drugs and raises awareness about the potential for possible abuse and accidental poisonings when unused prescription drugs are kept in the home.
“Unused prescription opioids, stimulants, sedatives and tranquilizers can have a devastating impact if they are accidentally ingested by a loved one, or if they fall into the wrong hands,” says Constable Russell Jensen of the Red Deer RCMP. “Prescription drugs are a target for thieves during break and enters or smash and grabs, and then make their way to the street.”
The illicit trade of prescription drugs and other drugs has a negative impact on our community; the drug trade is closely linked to property crimes and is always accompanied by violence. The RCMP are committed to building safe communities and enforcing drug laws to their fullest extent, and encourage the public to do their part by ensuring prescription drugs are disposed of safely.
In addition, improper disposal of unused drugs can have harmful environmental impacts if they end up in the garbage or sewer system.
“Everyone has a role to play in reducing the harms of prescription drugs on individuals, families and the environment. Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and safely disposing of unused and expired medications at the pharmacy is a simple way to help,” says Doug Higham, Pharmacy Manager at London Drugs.
What can you do? Clean out your medicine cabinet
Many prescription medications, over-the-counter products and health supplements remain in medicine cabinets and kitchen drawers long after their expiry date, while others are simply unused. Properly disposing of drugs is important for a number of reasons, including the safety of your loved ones and the well-being of the environment. Ideally, medicine cabinets should be cleaned out once every year.
- Check expiration dates and remove products that are expired.
Virtually every medication – from vitamins, to prescription medications, to over-the-counter products – have expiry dates. Keep in mind that some products can expire before the date on the label once opened. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist.
- Remove any medication not in its original container.
If you can’t remember what a medication is for or who it was for, get rid of it. As much as possible, keep your medication in its original packaging. Mixing different medications in the same container or storing them outside of their original packaging increases the likelihood of accidental overdose or poisonings.
- Place unwanted and expired drugs in a clear plastic bag.
Medications in blister packs and forms of liquid and cream medications can also be included in the plastic bag.
- Drop off your unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications at London Drugs. These medications will be safely incinerated, preventing them from being abused, entering landfills or the sewer system. London Drugs also recycles medication bottles, lids and medication vials. Please be sure to remove personal information by taking off the label or by using a marker to black out personal information.
- Remember: Unwanted drugs are accepted every day at any London Drugs location, not only on May 21.
– 30 –
Angela Joyce, Media Relations
Cst. Russell Jensen
Red Deer RCMP