Return unused meds

If you have bottles of unused medications gathering dust in your medicine cabinet, it would be wise to turn them in.

The Canadian Mental Health Association is partnering with the Division of Family Practice to support Vernon’s Unused Medications Return Program in July, and they will also have a booth at Sunshine Festival on Saturday.

"Expired medications can be ineffective or even toxic. Plus, there is the risk of accidental ingestion by kids or someone in the home accessing them that shouldn’t," said Naaz Grewal, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon and District Community Educator.

According to a Health Canada Survey, more than seven per cent of students in Grades 7 to 12 in B.C. admitted to abusing prescription drugs. These medications are often taken from a medicine cabinet — either in their own home or from that of a friend or relative.

“We sometimes forget what we have in our medicine cabinets," said Grewal. "Checking and disposing of medication properly is a way to make sure it doesn’t get into the hands of our children and accidentally ingested."

All Vernon pharmacies participate in a Medications Return Program, so it’s easy to return expired or unused prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or even natural health products at any time.

You can return your medication any day of the year with these steps:

Step One: Check for any unused and expired medications around your household.

Step Two: Empty all pills into a clear bag or container, but remember to keep liquids, creams and inhalers in their original packaging. All labels on containers should be removed and recycled and pills should be taken out of the blister packs, if possible.

Step Three: Drop them off at any local pharmacy.

Step Four: If you return your medication through the month of July you are eligible to enter into a draw. Simply take a picture while returning your medication, use the hashtag #MedReturn2019 and tag CMHA-Vernon on Facebook (@cmhavernon) or Instagram (@cmhavernon) to be entered into a draw for a $50 gift card to the Sprouted Fig. The winner will be announced on CMHA-Vernon’s social media on Aug. 7.

To learn more about the Canadian Mental Association Vernon Branch or to make a donation to improve mental health in our community, visit the CMHA website at www.vernon.cmha.bc.ca or call 250-542-3114.

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