The Regional District of Nanaimo and the B.C. Pharmacy Association is encouraging Nanaimo residents to dispose of drugs safely.
Residents can return unused or expired medication to community pharmacies at any time and at no charge as part of a B.C. Medications Return Program.
The program is meant to ensure medications are not thrown in the garbage where they could be found by young people or pets, or flushed down the toilet where they can harm the marine environment. Given the recent news that B.C. will likely have a record number of drug overdoses this year, the safe disposal of medication is especially critical, a press release says.
Last year more than 4,500 kilograms of expired or unused medications were returned to pharmacies by people in Nanaimo for safe disposal.
“There are 43 community pharmacies in the Nanaimo area that will accept medication returns at any time,” says Geraldine Vance, CEO of the B.C. Pharmacy Association. “Your pharmacist is the best person to help you dispose of unwanted drugs.”
The return program covers all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, including topical antibiotic and anti fungal creams and natural health products that are orally ingested like vitamins, probiotics and homeopathic medicines.
Saturday (May 21) also marks National Prescription Drug Drop-off Day, a Canada-wide initiative led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.
For more information about the program, please visit www.healthsteward.ca.