Canadian public responds in droves to a national drug take-back campaign

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - A three-month national drug take-back campaign introduced jointly by the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada (PDFC) and Shoppers Drug Mart on June 1, 2013 has generated close to 44 tons (87,577 pounds) of returned medication.

"The Three month campaign to clean out Canada's households of unused and expired prescription drugs as well as over the counter (OTC) medicine in an effort to reduce the amount of drugs available for abuse by teenagers has been a huge success," according to the Partnership's Executive Director, Marc Paris"We are ecstatic that Canadian parents responded in such a significant way and it clearly demonstrates that PDFC's drug prevention messages are making a difference," says Paris.

The campaign which ran for three months from June 1, to September 6 was supported by a national multimedia campaign created by Toronto ad agency Immersion Media.  The media messages, which targeted parents, emphasized the issue of prescription drug misuse by teens and all ended with the tag line "Stop the Abuse. Your kids need you to take back all unused medicine... Learn how and where at Canada Drug Free.org."

PDFC's website www.canadadrugfree.org directed parents to Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix store locator web pages so parents could easily find their closest store.

"This campaign sparked great interest from our Associate-owners across the country and truly resonated with our customers," said Jeannette Wang, Senior Vice President, Pharmacy Professional Affairs and Services. "We are extremely proud that our support helped to increase awareness for this issue and resulted in more safe returns of expired and unused prescription medications."

Joining forces with the Partnership for a drug Free Canada provided a boost to our on-going drug return program which is a key part of Shoppers' environmental sustainability program, and was reflected in an increase of 14.3% over the previous year," said Wang (Consumers can bring back their medication all-year round at any Shoppers Drug Mart or Pharmaprix store).

According to Marc Paris, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada "What prompted this campaign was our fear that as more and more parents were becoming aware of the danger that lurks in their household medicine cabinets, parents would be disposing of their unused medicine in unsafe ways instead of bringing it back to their local pharmacy" .

PDFC's own research has shown that 43% of parents have an "abusable drug" at home and 84% admit to keeping them in accessible locations.  Furthermore, although more than three quarter of parents know they can return medication, only 50% say they do so.

The Partnership for a Drug Free Canada is a private sector, non-profit organization that creates and disseminates drug education and prevention messages with the help of their partners in advertising, research and media.  PDFC also offers parents tools and practical tips on how to start the dialogue at www.canadadrugfree.org


Image with caption: "Canadian public responds in droves to a national drug take-back campaign (CNW Group/Partnership for a Drug Free Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131016_C4207_PHOTO_EN_32095.jpg

SOURCE: Partnership for a Drug Free Canada

For further information:

Marc Paris, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug Free Canada (PDFC) mparis@pdfc-pcsd.org (416) 479-6972

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Partnership for a Drug Free Canada

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