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Drug Amnesty Day success in county

By Nancy Kelly




With 200 pounds of pills, 220 households participating and 35,000 pills turned in – and that doesn’t include the patches, creams and liquid medications - Kings County’s inaugural drug amnesty collection day appears to have been well received.


Kentville Police Chief Mark Mander acknowledged he was “very happy with the response” from the community.


In the first couple of hours of the Dec. 1 collection, 70 envelopes of unwanted and outdated prescription and over-the-counter medications were brought to the drop-off site in Kentville’s Centre Square. Other sites included the Greenwood Mall, Berwick fire hall and the County Fair Mall in New Minas.


Annapolis Valley Health partnered with the Kentville Police Service, Kings District RCMP and community physicians and pharmicists to host the multi-site drop-off. All participating organizations are members of the Opiates Issues Council established in 2011. The group’s inaugural drug amnesty project is part of its response to public concerns about opiate use in the Annapolis Valley and an effort to keep prescription drugs off the streets.


Despite the day’s bone-chilling temperatures, “We had people here as soon as we got set up this morning, Mander said.


 “We have had a lot of seniors stop by today. They came by car and on foot as well. I want to thank them all very much.”


Mander hopes the effort will not be limited to one-time event.


“I’d like to see it evolve into a police week activity each year,” he said.


Pharmacist Evan Bezanson said the drop-off provided an opportunity to educate the public and clarify some misinformation about proper medication disposal.


“Many people think you have to take back meds to the pharmacy you got them from. That isn’t the case. They can be dropped off at any pharmacy,” Bezanson explained.


You can speak to a pharmacist or visit  http://pans.ns.ca/medication-disposal/ for more information about the current pharmacy disposal program.

Organizations: County Fair Mall, Annapolis Valley Health, Kentville Police Service Opiates Issues Council

Geographic location: Kentville, Kings, New Minas Annapolis Valley

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