Help protect youth, drop off old drugs

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CORNWALL, Ontario - Have any unused, unwanted or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications? There's a safe, easy, and anonymous way to keep them out of the wrong hands.

Through the Medi Drop program, city cops and the health unit have created a safe place for you to dispose of unwanted medication.

The Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS) and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are reminding the public about the Medi Drop program.

Since the collaborative initiative started, more than 1,050 pounds of medications have been collected from four steel Medi Drop boxes throughout the city.

Drop boxes are located at the downtown police station (340 Pitt Street), east end police station (330 Montreal Road), and the Cornwall Community Hospital sites at 510 Second Street East and 840 McConnell Avenue.

“The Medi Drop boxes offer a secure, easy and environmentally-friendly way to get rid of unwanted medications,” said Chief Dan Parkinson, of the CCPS.

Residents can also dispose of unwanted medication by returning it to their pharmacy.

Parkinson warns that disposal by any other means, such as flushing, pouring or throwing them in the trash, risks contaminating the water and harming wildlife, or inviting scavengers to find and illegally sell them.

The program was developed to help reduce the risks that can be created by keeping unwanted or unused medications at home.

These risks include:

Abuse of medications by kids or their friends to get high. A recent survey in Ontario showed that 20 per cent of teens have taken a prescription medication to get high, and that 75 per cent of those stole it from home.

Accidental poisonings of young children. According to Parachute (previously Safe Kids Canada), medications are involved in two-thirds of unintentional poisonings in children under 14.

Home break-ins by thieves looking to get their hands on prescription drugs.

For details about what items can be deposited into the boxes, the locations or other information about the program, visit www.MediDrop.ca.

For more information, contact the EOHU at 613-933-1375 or at 1 800 267-7120 and ask for Health Line. Visit their website at www.eohu.ca.

Organizations: Cornwall Community Police Service, Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Cornwall Community Hospital Safe Kids

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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