The Annapolis Valley Health Authority is calling its unused prescription drug drop-off event a success after staff collected about 35,000 prescription pills on Saturday.

Kevin Fraser, the district manager of addictions services at the Annapolis Valley Health Authority, told CBC News the pills weigh about 90 kilograms and came from 220 different households in the area.

Fraser said the pill collection event, which took place in Berwick, Greenwood, Kentville and New Minas, was a first for Nova Scotia.

"I think it's exceeded our expectations. More importantly, we were really hoping just to get people out and talking. So we're happy on both accounts," he said Tuesday.

"We know that using medications that are outdated are dangerous and using medications that don't belong to you are dangerous and so we really wanted to ensure that medications are not getting into the wrong hands and that people are paying attention to their own medications in general."

The drugs will be destroyed, as will any personal information contained on any of the containers.


Kentville Police Chief Mark Mander (left), Kevin Fraser with Annapolis Valley Health (centre) and Kings RCMP Const. Lindsey Donovan pose with the drugs that were dropped off over the weekend. (Annapolis Valley Health Authority)

Fraser said the need for a prescription drop-off was suggested by the local drug council, which was created in response to community concerns about how to combat the growing opiate addiction problem in the Annapolis Valley.

"This is one of the issues that came out of our opiate issues council where our community came together and looked at one prong of many prongs from a community issue perspective about how to address the issue of addiction in our community," he said.

"It was the coldest day of the year thus far and people were coming out with a smile on their face. And they were very grateful they were given a an opportunity to play a role in addressing the issue of prescriptions being used and misused."

The Annapolis Valley Health Authority said the program will now be reviewed and could become annual event in a partnership with National Police Week.