TORONTO — Drug Free Kids Canada is encouraging Canadians to return all leftover and expired medications to their pharmacies this month to prevent potentially harmful use by children and teens.

The organization says National Drug Drop-off month is meant to highlight the issue of the problematic use of prescription drugs by young people.

A 2017 Ontario study found almost 14 per cent of Grade 9 to 12 students reported having used a prescription drug non-medically in the previous year.

The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey also found the most common source for accessing opioids, for instance, was parents and siblings.

Drug Free Kids executive director Marc Paris says more parents are becoming aware of the dangers of leaving unused drugs in the medicine cabinet, which can easily be accessed by children and teens.

Last year, 725 tonnes of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications were returned to local pharmacies across Canada for disposal.

“Every day pharmacies accept unused prescription medication for safe disposal,” said Christine Hrudka of the Canadian Pharmacists Association. “I urge Canadians to take a few minutes this August to clear out their medicine cabinets of unused, unwanted or expired medications and make the short trip to your local pharmacy.”


The Canadian Press

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