September 15, 2010
Ontario is taking action to reduce the growing abuse of prescription narcotics and controlled substances.
Later today the province intends to move forward on a key piece of the recently announced Narcotics Strategy, by introducing the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 2010 that would, if passed, enable the province to collect and track information on all narcotics and other controlled substances dispensed in Ontario.
In instances of inappropriate or excessive prescribing or dispensing, responses could include educational support and resources, reporting to the appropriate regulatory college and in extreme circumstances, law enforcement. The strategy also includes more education to patients and prescribers about the appropriate use of prescription narcotics.
Across North America, addictions, crime and deaths related to prescription drug abuse including those containing oxycodone have increased significantly in recent years. Since 1991, prescriptions for oxycodone-containing products rose by 900 per cent. The number of oxycodone-related deaths in Ontario has nearly doubled since 2004.
The new Narcotics Strategy would put Ontario in line with six other provinces and 33 U.S. states that have prescription drug monitoring programs in place.
Ivan Langrish, 416-326-3986
David Jensen, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
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