Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

Prince Edward County/May 7, 2018 - Prince Edward County residents are encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets between May 14 -18, 2018.  People can drop off old or unused prescription and over-the-counter medications at local pharmacies next week or another day that is convenient. 

The Prince Edward County Narcotics Committee includes a number of local community agencies who work collaboratively on issues related to drugs and other substances in our area. One identified concern of the committee is the misuse of prescription drugs, especially opioid pain relievers. 

“Reducing the amount of circulating unused or expired drugs in our area is one strategy to decrease the drugs available on the street,” says Community Safety Officer Constable Patrick Menard.  “Don’t keep prescription medicine in the medicine cabinet. If possible, keep both prescription and over-the-counter drugs in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet.”

According to the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (2017):
  • 11% of students (grades 7-12) have used a prescription opioid pain reliever (e.g. Percocet, Percodan, Tylenol 3, Demerol and codeine) without a prescription in the past year;
  • 9% of students have used over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to get high; and
  • 55% of teens who indicated they had misused prescription opioids said they took them from a parent or sibling.

The Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet initiative aims to make homes safer by preventing prescription medication misuse and abuse. It also helps prevent the consumption of expired or inappropriate drugs. Unused medication should always be returned to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.

“Anyone may bring medications for safe, proper disposal to a local pharmacy – anytime,” says PEFHT pharmacist Janice Hall. “If you have questions or need help to get your unused medications to a pharmacy, please contact me at the Prince Edward Family Health Team at 613-476-0040.”

For more information on substance abuse or harm reduction, please visit Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s website at www.hpepublichealth.ca or call 613-966-5500 (toll free  1-800-267-2803). We are committed to providing accessible publications, programs and services to all. 

For assistance please call 613-966-5500, TTY: 711 or email accessibility@hpeph.ca

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Media Contacts:
Janice Hall, Pharmacist
Prince Edward Family Health Team
613-476-0040 ext. 213
Jennifer Ronan, Public Health Nurse
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
613-966-5500 ext. 621
For a photo showing youth from the Recreation Outreach Centre (ROC) helping to label the Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet bags, contact Jennifer Ronan, PHN, at the above telephone number. 

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) operates one of 36 health units across Ontario. HPEPH provides dozens of programs and services, along with reliable health information, to a population of approximately 150,000 people in a 7,000 square km catchment area encompassing 17 municipalities. HPEPH's mission is to enable the people in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to achieve and maintain optimal health through health protection and promotion, as well as disease and injury prevention. For more information, please visit www.hpepublichealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.