By Letter to the Editor on September 13, 2017.
Recently, opioids and safe drug disposal have been in the news across Canada. Drugs that are not disposed of properly can become an environmental hazard, contaminating our waters or they may end up in the wrong hands which could lead to their abuse. To combat this, I am pleased to say the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association offers a province-wide drug disposal program known as ENVIRx.
The program encourages Albertans to return any expired or unused medicines to their community pharmacist. By bringing in your medications to your pharmacy it presents an opportunity to touch base with your pharmacist and talk about a medication that hasn’t worked or a perhaps a situation that has changed. It allows pharmacists to educate patients on proper drug use and disposal. Returning your unused opioids and painkillers can help prevent opioid abuse and keep the public safe by removing these unused medications from our communities.
Further, the program protects public health and the environment by keeping medications out of waterways and landfills. Medications are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner to prevent an adverse impact on the environment.
ENVIRx is not a publicly funded program, but is made available to Albertans through the commitment of the profession of pharmacy. We encourage Albertans to take advantage of this program! Stop by your local ENVIRx community pharmacy today to safely dispose of your medications, have a chat with your pharmacist and be proud to know you are keeping yourself, others and the environment safe!
For a listing of pharmacies that participate in ENVIRx, visit http://www.rxa.ca/for-the-public/medication-disposal.aspx
(The writer is president of the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association.)
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