Get rid of those drugs
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is reminding the public about the Medi Drop program. The program offers residents a safe and anonymous way to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Since the start of the program, over 2,819 pounds of medications have been collected. Residents can drop off their medications at one of three Medi Drop boxes located throughout the City of Cornwall. The Medi Drop initiative was developed to help reduce the risks that can be created by keeping unwanted or unused medications at home. These risks include the possibility that there will be abuse of medications by kids or their friends to get high. A recent study found that psychoactive pharmaceuticals were the third most commonly used substance by Canadian students in grades 7 to 12, after alcohol and cannabis. In the same study, about 37 per cent of students said it would be fairly easy to obtain prescription pain medications. Accidental poisoning of young children is a major concern. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates an average of three deaths and 900 hospitalizations each year in children 14 and under due to unintentional poisonings. Another hazard is posed by the prospect of home break-ins by thieves looking to get their hands on prescription drugs.
The Medi Drop program also serves to remind the public that dropping off unwanted medications in the Medi Drop boxes or returning them to their local pharmacy are the best ways to get rid of these products. Any other means they choose, such as flushing, pouring or throwing them in the trash, risks contaminating the water and harming wildlife, or inviting scavengers to find and illegally sell them. “The Medi Drop boxes offer a secure, easy and environmentally-friendly way to get rid of unwanted medications,” states Cornwall Police Chief Dan Parkinson. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health, agrees. “We’re very excited to be a part of this unique program to help protect our children and keep our residents safe.” For details about what items can be deposited into the boxes, the drop box locations or other information about the Medi Drop program, please visit www.MediDrop.ca.