05/10/2013 23:07 EDT | Updated 07/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Police ask public to turn in old drugs, medication

Vancouver police are asking people to drop off their unused or expired prescription drugs on Saturday, as part of a national Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day.

The event, held across Canada, aims to reduce both the risk of accidental ingestion and the potential for drugs to be used illicitly and not as prescribed.

Art Steinmann, manager of the Substance Abuse Prevention program at the Vancouver School Board, said medicine left in cabinets, garbage cans and drawers are finding new life.

"Parents may be unknowingly supporting youth getting drugs by not getting them out of the home," he said.

"It tends to be any drug with a stimulant effect or painkillers, occasionally sedative."

Since 2006, pharmacies across B.C. have helped dispose of old prescriptions, but this is the first time a national day has been declared.

On Saturday, people can securely drop off old drugs at two police stations in Vancouver — at 2120 Cambie St. and 3585 Gravely St.