RCMP Backs Canada's National Rx Drug Drop-Off Day

The May 11 event headed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is taking place throughout the country.

Saying abuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem for police and public health officials across Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is supporting the first National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day on May 11. It is an initiative of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police inviting the public to drop off unused, expired medications at RCMP participating divisions in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador. Municipal police services across the country are taking part.

"It is our hope that as this national day continues in years to come, even more divisions will be able to participate in the future," said RCMP Superintendent Eric Slinn, who is a member of the CACP Drug Abuse Committee.

The police agency reports recreational use of prescription medications was at 20 percent among students in grades 7-12, according to a 2009 study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "We know there are people abusing prescription drugs to get high, and we know -- particularly in the case of opioids -- this can lead to addiction and criminal behavior, such as pharmacy robberies and trafficking," Slinn said. "Preventing an addiction before it starts is one part of reducing this type of criminal behavior."

The RCMP is asking people to clean out their medicine cabinets and bathroom drawers and discard medications that are no longer being used.

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