For one in five clients accessing Annapolis Valley Health Addiction Services, prescription drug dependence is the primary treatment concern. With the reality of such statistics, a prescription drug amnesty day for Kings County is being welcomed by many in the community.
“We know that safe disposal of old and unwanted medications helps to keep them from falling into the wrong hands,” says Kevin Fraser, Manager, Addiction Services at Annapolis Valley Health. “This amnesty day is about safely removing medications from our homes that are outdated or not being used.”
On December 1, four drop-off locations will be setup from across Kings County, where residents can bring old and unwanted medications (both prescription and over-the-counter). The medications will be securely handled and safely destroyed, and any personal information included will be protected and destroyed as well.
“This really is a call to action for our community,” says Inspector Michael Payne, RCMP. “We know this is a national issue and we have an opportunity to lead the way in our communities by making these safe practices a priority.”
While the amnesty day is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia, Fraser points out that this isn’t just about one day. Residents are strongly encouraged to ensure medications are securely stored in their homes and to speak with their pharmacist about safe disposal programs at their local pharmacy.
“Prescription drug misuse is impacting our communities and our residents. We really hope that people take advantage of this opportunity on December 1 and that they start to make safe practice around medications a regular occurrence in their homes and for our community.”
Households in Kings County will have received an envelope in their weekly flyers that can be used to place medications in and return to one of the four secure drop-off locations from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Dec. 1:
• County Fair Mall, New Minas
• Greenwood Mall, Greenwood
• Centre Square, Kentville
• Berwick Fire Hall, Berwick
This initiative is a partnership between Annapolis Valley Health, Kentville Police, and RCMP, with the support of other community partners. More information, including safe practice tips and an FAQ document, is available at www.annapolisvalleyhealth.ca.