© Nancy Kelly
Joining RCMP Const. Blair MacMurtery at the Berwick fire hall for the May 10 National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day were probation officer Todd Demspey and pharmacist Jim Best. - Nancy Kelly, www.kingscountynews.ca
Kings County participated in the second annual National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day May 10.
The initiative provided the opportunity for people to anonymously and safely dispose of unwanted and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. It also helps reduce the illegal use, abuse and trafficking of prescription medications, particularly painkillers and narcotics.
The event was hosted locally by the Kings District RCMP, the Kentville Police, the provincial justice department, Annapolis Valley Health and area pharmacies. Drop-offs were held at locations in Wolfville, Kentville, Berwick and Kingston.
“It is important to clean out your medicine cabinets,” explained RCMP Const. Blair MacMurtery, who manned the drop-off site at the Berwick fire hall.
“From a health perspective, re-using old meds is not wise and getting rid of them is important from a crime-prevention perspective as well.”
Jim Best, a pharmacist with Wilsons Pharmasave in Berwick, said providing an opportunity to dispose of unwanted medications safely and securely also mitigates any environmental impacts.
“You don’t want this stuff in the water table,” Best said.
Best said pharmacies use established protocols to destroy old meds, pointing out that in every case, “any patient-identifying information” is also handled in a secure manner.
This is the third year a drug amnesty day has been held in the Valley. In 2012, local agencies partnered to host a pilot project, which MacMurtery called a “big success.” The 2012 event helped develop the national initiative, which is now supported by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Public Safety Canada and Health Canada, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Partnership For a Drug Free Canada, and the Canadian Pharmacists Association.
“Just like then, we have a lot of community partners working towards the same goal.”