Opiate overdose deaths rising across Canada

June 27, 2014

According to a report from the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition released last week, overdose deaths from prescription opiates have seen a sharp rise, now accounting for approximately half of all drug-related deaths in Canada. From a CTV News article on the report: "Current federal drug policies are "failing" to promote health and safety amongst those who use drugs, the report says. Drugs users have to rely on a "patchwork" of provincial programs and services that are in place to help them.

Opiate overdose deaths rising across Canada
CBC News - June 18, 2014

Deaths linked to opiate overdoses are rising sharply across Canada owing to an increase in prescription drug use, says a report released Wednesday by the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.

The report says often these deaths could be prevented and many result from over-prescribing of pain medications.

"It's a national issue, it's a growing problem," said Donald MacPherson, executive director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.

"Canada is the No. 2 user of opiates in the world next to the U.S., so there's a lot of prescription opioids out there in the market."

The report calls for more education of patients taking opiates, appropriate prescribing guidelines for physicians and widespread training and use of naloxone, a drug designed to immediately reverse the effects of an opiate overdose.

"Most overdoses are preventable, they don't need to happen, they don't need to result in death. That's the tragedy here," MacPherson said.

Continue reading at CBC News...

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