CCSA Encourages Canadians to Safely Discard Unused Prescription Drugs

Ottawa, May 9, 2013 —The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) joins the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), Public Safety Canada and other organizations to encourage Canadians to safely discard unneeded prescription drugs.National Prescription Drug Drop-off Day, Saturday, May 11, is an initiative organized by CACP to be implemented by police services across the country. CCSA is proud to support this event.

“The National Prescription Drug Drop-off Day is a very good initiative and provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to reduce the non-medical use of prescription medicines in Canada. Evidence clearly demonstrates that a significant proportion of youth who use prescription drugs to get high obtain them from their own family medicine chest. I encourage Canadians to take this opportunity to safely discard unused medicines and help ensure they don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Michel Perron, CCSA’s Chief Executive Officer. This initiative supports Canada’s national prescription drug strategy, released March 27.

CCSA launched the strategy and action plan called First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis. The strategy reflects input from more than 30 organizations, including healthcare professionals, police officers, First Nations organizations and the pharmaceutical industry, and contains 58 recommendations. CCSA and its partners are putting in place the 10-year strategy to implement these recommendations.

“Prescription drug abuse, especially of opioids, is a very significant problem in Canada. CCSA, along with its partners, takes this issue very seriously and is taking action to help curb this public health crisis,” added Mr Perron. “The National Prescription Drug Drop-off Day is a recommendation of First Do No Harm that can help ensure prescription drugs that are no longer required are disposed of for the safety of all concerned.”

The number of opioid-related deaths is increasing, emergency room visits are on the rise and there are growing demands for treatment. Canada now ranks as the world’s second largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids, with the United States as number one (International Narcotics Control Board, 2013). The rate of opioid use by Canadians increased by 203% between 2000 and 2010, an increase steeper than in the United States (International Narcotics Control Board).

When prescribed and used appropriately, opioids, sedatives, tranquilizers and stimulants have therapeutic benefits for people experiencing pain or those with certain illnesses. CCSA and its partners are working towards a Canada that allows for the benefits while minimizing the harms associated with prescription drugs.

About the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to reduce the harm of alcohol and other drugs on society. We partner with public, private and non-governmental organizations to improve the health and safety of Canadians.

Media Contact: Suzanne Stoltz, Communications Advisor, CCSA, Tel.: 613-235-4048 ext. 240
Email: [email protected], Twitter: @CCSAcanada


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