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Police aim to prevent drug misuse, accidental poisoning with drop-off day

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Winnipeg police would like you to go home, open the door to your medicine cabinet and bring them all of your expired pills on Saturday.

That’s National Prescription Drop-Off Day, an event run in conjunction with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Public Safety Canada.

The misuse of prescription drugs has reached the crisis stage in many communities across the country. Research shows that 75 per cent of young people who abuse these drugs have taken them from their own homes.

Insp. Gord Friesen said bringing prescription drugs to parties is an increasingly popular – and dangerous – activity among young people.

"This is Russian Roulette with drugs," he said.

Ronald Guse, registrar with the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association, said his goal is to remove the desire to take prescription drugs among young people as well as eliminate accidental poisoning.

"I think if we all went home and opened up our medicine cabinets and looked at the expiry dates (of the vials in there), we’d be surprised," he said.

Vials and packets can be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Public Safety Building Service Centre (151 Princess St.), the District 2 Service Centre (210 Lyle St.), District 3 Service Centre (260 Hartford Ave.), a trio of East District service centre s(1400 Henderson Highway, 1750 Dugald Rd. and 1086 St. Mary’s Road) and the District 6 Service Centre at 1350 Pembina Highway.

Police would also like to note that flushing medication down the drain or tossing them in the garbage can be an environmental hazard.

The proper disposal of medication is available year-round at participating pharmacies, police said. For more information, please visit www.medicationsreturn.ca.

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