Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
In many households, prescription medications continue to linger long after the ailments they were used to treat.
The Niagara Region Public Health is looking to clean out medicine cabinets with a prescription drop-off event on May 12.
Brock Alumna Erin McGinnis is currently working on this initiative along with the Niagara Regional Police, Ontario Provincial Police and Public Safety Canada.
“I grew up in the Niagara region, so naturally after graduating from the Community Health program at Brock I wanted to stay and work in the region.” Says McGinnis, who graduated with first class standing in 2009.
McGinnis started at the region through an internship course at Brock that opened the door to her career as a health promoter. Working on her latest campaign, she is looking to establish a program that can be used both provincially and nationally to help diminish negative consequences of storing prescription drugs.
“This initiative is looking to mitigate and reduce the volume of and ease of access to prescription drugs in our community to make Niagara a safer place to live.” says McGinnis.
In a recent survey, 20.8% of students in grades 7-12 in the surrounding Niagara region have reported using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past year.
Prescription drugs are often overlooked as a dangerous substance, but as usage continues to climb more awareness needs to be spread about the possible risks of keeping them in the household.
Some of the most prevalent benefits of the event would be the positive impact on the environment as it promotes residents to not flush their prescription medications down the toilet or sink, or throw them away in the garbage, other related benefits would be less break and enters, possible addictions and ER visits for overdose treatment.
The campaign is seeking action to awareness, with the end goal to spread the word that prescription drugs should be either locked up, or returned to local pharmacies to avoid negative consequences.
The event will feature 14 sites around the region where prescription drugs can be anonymously dropped off in a drive-thru fashion and sorted on-site by local pharmacists.