TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - The Government of Ontario's narcotics strategy
will address the root causes of a significant and growing health problem
- the inappropriate use of prescription opioids. The Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) welcomes the strategy announced by
The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
"Everyday at CAMH we see the consequences of problematic use of
prescription opioids, as more and more people are seeking treatment for
opioid dependence," said Dr. Catherine Zahn, CEO of CAMH, Canada's
largest teaching hospital for addictions and mental health. "The
Minister is committed to both improved treatment and to preventing the
problematic use of opioids."
The Minister unveiled her Government's narcotics strategy in London
earlier today. The strategy includes a commitment to increased awareness
of the risks of prescription narcotics, and legislation to enable far
more effective tracking of prescribing and use of prescription opioids
and other controlled substances.
"This is not a problem that can be solved overnight," said Dr.
Zahn. "But the Minister's strategy contains the key elements of a
comprehensive solution: more and better drug information, improved
professional and patient education, and high-quality treatment for those
with dependence problems."
CAMH population surveys have documented the increasing misuse of
prescription drugs. Research released last year indicates that
prescription opioids are the third most widely used substance among
young people, after alcohol and cannabis. About 18% of students (grades
7 to 12) report using prescription opioids non-medically in the past
year, representing 180,000 Ontario students. The source for these drugs
was overwhelmingly the students' own homes.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest
mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the
world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental
health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy
development and health promotion to transform the lives of people
affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated
with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.
SOURCE Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
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