Saturday, May 9, Is National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day
On Saturday, May 9, 2015, Canadians have an opportunity to learn of the dangers of prescription drugs and of the steps they can take to reduce some of these harms. On National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day, citizens are encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of unused medications by returning them to their local pharmacy.
The harms associated with prescription drugs such as opioids, sedatives, tranquillizers and stimulants are a significant public health and safety concern across North America. Although these drugs have legal status and are prescribed for therapeutic purposes, they also carry a high potential for harms such as addiction, withdrawal, injury and even death from motor vehicle accidents, accidental overdoses or suicide.
Canada is now the second largest consumer of prescription opioids in the world, and there has been an increase in recent years of overdose deaths, emergency room visits and admissions to substance abuse treatment programs because of opioid abuse. There has also been an increase in the number of young people reporting that they are using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons — and most of them said they got the drugs from the family medicine cabinet.
Promoting a national day that encourages Canadians to safely dispose of unused medications is part of First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis, a 10-year national strategy developed in 2013 by Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and many partners from across Canada to reduce the harms of prescription drug abuse on individuals, families and communities. For more information, visit www.ccsa.ca and its Topic page on Prescription Drugs.
National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day is being promoted by [insert organization name here], in partnership with many health and law enforcement organizations across the country, including the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
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