MP Dreeshen Calls on Canadians to Clean out Their Medicine Cabinets

May 07, 2015

Canadians can join the effort to prevent prescription drug abuse

May 7, 2015 – Red Deer - Earl Dreeshen, MP for Red Deer is encouraging all Canadians to participate in National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day on Saturday May 9, which aims to tackle the growing problem of prescription drug misuse and abuse.

The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public health and safety issue that impacts individuals, families and communities across Canada. National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day provides an opportunity for Canadians to drop off their unused and expired prescription medication to local police and community partners at specific locations to ensure safe disposal. This initiative aims to reduce the volume of prescription drugs available for misuse and inform the public of the harms associated with prescription drug abuse.  It also reminds Canadians that unused prescription drugs should be returned to local pharmacies for disposal any day of the year.

National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day is one of several ways the Government is fulfilling its responsibilities under the National Anti-Drug Strategy, a collaborative effort focused on prevention and access to treatment for those with drug dependencies, while at the same time getting tough on drug dealers and producers who threaten the safety of our youth and communities.

We are also investing $13.5 million over five years to enhance access to addictions support, prevention and treatment capacity for prescription drug abuse for First Nations living on-reserve across the country. And, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we have developed a national research network aimed at improving the health of Canadians living with substance abuse. Their research will lead to interventions and programs that are tailored to individuals, feasible and applicable in clinical and community intervention settings, and quickly and easily implemented by health care and service providers and service users.


Quick Facts 

  • Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada has committed over $44 million over five years to expand the scope of the National Anti-Drug Strategy to include measures to address prescription drug abuse.
  • In 2013, 22% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using a psychoactive prescription drug. Of these, 2% (about 146,000) reported abusing the drug for non-medical purposes.
  • According to a 2013 Ontario survey, one in eight youth reported using a prescription opioid drug for non-medical purposes, and approximately 70% said they obtained the drug from home.
  • Nationally, 42% of Canadian police agencies actively participated in the 2014 Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day. (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police)
  • Participating agencies reported recovering over 1.5 tons of prescription drugs in the 2014 Drop-Off Day. (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police)



“Prescription drugs are there to help people when they need them, but when used in the wrong way or for the wrong reasons, they can cause serious harm, including death. Keeping prescription drugs that you no longer need can also increase the likelihood of children accidently ingesting them. The Government of Canada is calling on Canadians to do their part to help, by returning unused or unwanted prescription drugs.” 

Earl Dreeshen, MP Red Deer


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