Canada is Now Taking Action on Prescription Medication Abuse

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Prescription-Drug-Abuse-A-National-DilemmaDrug abuse is a major problem across North America and many parts of the world, but the subject we’ve been hearing the most about recently has to be prescription medications that treat severe pain. These medications to many seem harmless so long as they are taken in the recommended doses and are taken for a specific problem like pain following a surgery, acute pain disorders as well as for broken bones and other legitimate medical reasons leading to chronic pain. And for the most part those people would be correct. The reality of the situation is much different as many patients even after their pain is gone continue to use the medication and even go from doctor to doctor in order to get their “fix” as these types of drugs are now so commonly abused by both the person who was prescribed as well as their teenage kids or young adult children. A sobering Ontario study that was released recently is painting a worrying picture. A picture that includes drugs like OxyContin and codeine as leading causes of death in young adults. The results are only providing us with further proof that this form of drug abuse has reached crisis levels across our country and the issue requires our immediate and urgent focus in order to attain a solution before these drugs continue to addict our youth and cause thousands of premature deaths.

What Canadian public health officials have determined is that there is no one group that can be blamed for this crisis. The problem they say, is too complex, too significant and too deeply rooted for any one group to be pointed out and punished. The same mentality should be looked at in finding a definitive solution to the problem as the issue is a pertinent one from coast to coast, north to south. In 2012 the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) brought a wide arrange of experts and community leaders to the table in order to begin investigating the problem and determining ways to go about finding a solution. Doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses coroners, law enforcement, first nations leaders, family members federal governments, provincial governments and pharmaceutical industry leaders were brought to the table in order to identify the problem and brainstorm on ways to solve it.

Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis is a 10-year road map that outlines 58 concrete recommendations for collective action in a number of key areas, including prevention, education, treatment, monitoring and surveillance, enforcement, and legislation and regulations. It recognizes that everyone has a role to play in reducing the harms caused by these prescription drugs. And it provides much-needed focus for actions at all levels of government and among organizations that have ownership of the problem and the solutions.

There remains a lot to be done on the issue, but those who have declared their involvement in trying to find a solution to what many are calling an epidemic have taken the first step by pooling their collective knowledge and skills there has certainly been progress in identifying the right way to go about this enormous task. The priorities of those responding to this drugs crisis are now being focused on Canada’s most important drug abuse problem which is overdose, and when they’ve laid down the foundations for that issue they will move on to prevention and other programs in order to curb the widespread issue.

 

VIA:EDMONTONJOURNAL

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Sobriety Foundation

Canada is Now Taking Action on Prescription Medication Abuse

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