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Attacking Medication Misuse campaign a success

Published on Monday, November 27, 2023

Attacking Medication Misuse campaign a success

Grey Bruce Public Health is pleased to announce that its “Attacking Medication Misuse” campaign was a major win.

GBPH teamed up with the Owen Sound Attack and Rexall Pharma Plus in Owen Sound on the campaign, which provided people who cleaned out their medicine cabinets and returned expired and unused medications to the local pharmacy with vouchers for two free tickets to any regular season Owen Sound Attack Wednesday night home game.

The campaign began Nov. 18 and within just three days, all 75 vouchers had been claimed.

In exchange, more than 120 bottles of unused medications were collected, including opioids, benzodiazepines, and other substances that can be potentially misused.

“The goal of this campaign was twofold – ensuring prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals that are no longer needed or past their expiry dates do not end up in the wrong hands or in the environment and educating the public that the safest way to dispose of these medications is to return them to a pharmacy. We are thrilled to say we accomplished both of these objectives,” says Monica Blair, Program Manager of Harm Reduction at Grey Bruce Public Health.

Leaving old medications in medicine cabinets or cupboards can have unintended and potentially serious consequences. Trends suggest rising rates of recreational misuse of prescription drugs by youth, who often obtain these drugs from family medicine cabinets and friends.

In addition, adults and seniors may inadvertently take expired prescription medications if these drugs are not promptly removed from medicine cabinets and cupboards. This can cause dangerous interactions with other medications.

Improperly discarded pharmaceuticals can also end up in landfills and waterways, which can be harmful to the environment and, potentially, impact human and animal health.

All pharmacies will accept old or unused medications year-round and ensure they are disposed of properly.

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