ARCHIVED - Harper Government encourages Canadians to participate in National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day

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OTTAWA, May 9, 2013 — The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea-to-Sky Country, and Chief Mark Mander of the Kentville Police, today highlighted the growing problem of pharmaceutical drug misuse and abuse in Canada at an event to promote a Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day on Saturday, May 11th in communities across Canada.

"Too often the source of these drugs is the family medicine cabinet," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Safely disposing of unused prescription drugs when you have recovered from your illness will reduce this risk and help protect the community."

National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day provides an opportunity for Canadians to drop off their unused or expired prescription medication to local police and community partners at specific locations to ensure safe disposal. This initiative aims to reduce the volume of prescription drugs available for misuse and inform the public of the harms associated with prescription drugs. It also promotes actions the public can take to reduce the risks, including bringing back unused pharmaceuticals to local pharmacies for disposal 365 days a year.

"The criminality associated with prescription drug misuse, includes fraudulent use of the health care system, pharmacy robberies, drug impaired driving and drug trafficking individuals taking advantage of lucrative street markets," said MP John Weston. "That is why we have partnered with law enforcement and other key stakeholders to divert these drugs away from the illicit markets."

"The National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day is an opportunity for all Canadians to safely dispose of unused pharmaceuticals and to participate in an overall strategy to help combat the problems associated with the misuse and illicit use of pharmaceuticals" stated Chief Mark Mander, Chair of the CACP Drug Abuse Committee.

National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day is an initiative of Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Drug Abuse Committee. The Government of Canada recently sponsored a resolution to the United Nations Commission on Narcotics Drugs calling on member states to consider establishing these kinds of initiatives as part of an approach to promote awareness and address the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs.

National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day is one of the ways the Government of Canada is helping prevent the misuse of drugs. The Government of Canada is also cracking down on illicit drugs through the National Anti-Drug Strategy, a collaborative effort focused on prevention and access to treatment for those with drug dependencies, while at the same time getting tough on drug dealers and producers who threaten the safety of our youth and communities.

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Julie Carmichael
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Cailin Rodgers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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