Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon and District Community Educator Naaz Grewal is coordinating the Medicine Return Project to promote safe disposal of unused and expired medications. (CMHA - photo)

CMHA Vernon campaign promotes medication disposal awareness

Expired medications can become ineffective and even toxic: Canadian Mental Health Association

Whether it’s pain medication for an old injury that has since healed, those antibiotics that you forgot to finish taking, or medications you wanted for your vacation two years ago, expired medications can become either ineffective or toxic.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon and District Branch, has partnered with the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice, Interior Health and local pharmacies to raise awareness of this issue and support Vernon’s Medication Return Project.

CMHA Vernon will be running a campaign throughout March encouraging Vernon and area residents to return their unused or expired medications safely to any Vernon pharmacy free of charge. Those who take part will be eligible to enter a prize draw.

RELATED: CMHA Vernon raising funds for mental health education and support

“Many people think flushing their medications down the toilet or tossing them in the garbage is a sufficient way to dispose of them,” said Naaz Grewal, CMHA Vernon Community Educator. “But disposing of medication this way can have several negative and harmful consequences.”

Undisposed medications pose an increased risk of accidental ingestion by children. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports 900 youth a year are hospitalized with serious injuries due to accidental consumption of medication.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth aged 12 to 18 in B.C., after motor vehicle accidents. Having easy and readily available access to medications in the home can increase suicide behavior in youth at risk of suicide.

RELATED: Shortened daylight in B.C. can put damper on mental health

According to UN Environment, between 70-80 per cent of antibiotics consumed by humans and farm animals not disposed of properly find their way into natural environments steadily increasing the harm to animals in the aquatic systems.

“Properly disposing of medications is easy and helps keep our kids and environment safe,” said Grewal.

· Check for any unused and expired medications around your household including the medicine cabinet, drawers and cupboards;

· 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;

· Take the container of medications to any Vernon pharmacy;

If you return your medication through the month of March 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 April 5.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon businesses get a boost from chamber program

Residents can support local business from home buy purchasing gift certificates

Food support continues for Vernon students despite school closures

Kids aren’t going hungry thanks to Kal Rotary and Starfish Backpack program

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

WATCH: Enderby seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Colouring book will feature images of Summerland

Project is a joint initiative of Summerland Museum and Summerland Community Arts Council

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents on Highway 1

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read