Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney recently joined member of Parliament John Weston (West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country) to declare the second national prescription drug drop-off day on Saturday, May 10. Collaboration was the key in creating the latest effort by Canadians to grapple with the rising tide of prescription drug abuse.
“National prescription drug drop-off day is an opportunity for all Canadians to safely dispose of unused pharmaceuticals and to participate in an overall strategy to help combat the growing problems associated with the misuse and illicit use of prescription drugs,” said Blaney in a news release. “National prescription drug drop-off day is one of the ways our government is helping to prevent the misuse of drugs. We are also cracking down on illicit drugs through the national anti-drug strategy —a collaborative effort focused on prevention and access to treatment for those with drug dependencies, while at the same time getting tough on drug dealers and producers who threaten the safety of our youth and communities.”
Weston has been advocating for a national drug take-back day for more than two years, in addition to his progress on encouraging national health and fitness, including promoting awareness and education on substance abuse. Weston’s Bill C-475, combatting crystal meth and ecstasy, was one of only six private members’ bills that made it through the minority Parliament of 2008 to 2011.
In the fall of 2011, he took his lead from Michel Perron, chief executive officer of the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, who suggested a drug take-back day as a national priority. Weston went to work, meeting with medical practitioners, school officials, recovery specialists, and law enforcement officials to develop the concept.
“I thank the past and present Ministers of Health and Public Safety, and our Prime Minister for their support bringing to life an idea that was endorsed by my constituents two years ago in West Vancouver,” Weston said. “I’m confident we’re about to turn the corner on prescription drug abuse. Minister Blaney’s leadership today reflects a need that was voiced strongly in our riding, by students, teachers, pharmacists, doctors, and police.”