News Release

REF NO.: 56

SUBJECT: School of Pharmacy to host Public Pill Drop event

DATE: March 8, 2018

Members of the public will have the opportunity to safely dispose of their expired and unused medications at Memorial’s School of Pharmacy’s upcoming annual Public Pill Drop.
The event, taking place this Sunday, March 11, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary headquarters, 1 Fort Townshend, in St. John’s, is part of Pharmacist Awareness Month (PAM).
“It’s important to safely dispose of medications for a number of reasons,” said Rachel Ward, Class of 2018, Memorial’s Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns senior representative and communications lead on the PAM organizing committee.

Expired medications dumped in toilets, for example, can pollute the water supply. And if expired pain medications or other addictive and typically abused drugs are left in medication cabinets, it could leave the home vulnerable to break-ins.
Dr. Lisa Bishop, interim dean, says the event is also a platform for informing members of the public of the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Opioids are a serious issue in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Pharmacy students in the school outreach committee, a sub-committee of the PAM committee, are presenting on the topic to junior high and high school students throughout the month of March. The goal is to create awareness from an early age just how dangerous the effects of prescription drug abuse can be.
Cst. Chad Rogers of the RNC also delivers drug awareness presentations at high schools to both students and parents, as well as to community groups who may come into contact with drugs or persons under the influence of drugs.
“Drug use is a problem here, and people should know what effect these substances have,” he said. “Fentanyl is currently being mixed with more common drugs and the scary thing is, people don’t realize this drug is being mixed into the drug of their choice until it’s too late.”

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