Waiting for the health care system to change is not working. More and more people and communities are being devastated by this issue. As we can see in Ontario they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Methadone treatment. We have started down that path and have not fixed or addressed the problem at the front end. While we have to recognize that there will always be addicts in need do we however simply continue to pour money into methadone treatment, which will in the end have a significant impact on the availability of health care dollars for things like acute care, recruitment of new physicians and investment into innovation. Or perhaps we should be proactive and reduce the incidents of addiction through the control of the supply of these pills.
The Minister needs to through her legislative/regulatory powers control the prescribing and dispensing of prescription narcotics and methadone carries as it relates to the quantities dispensed. She needs to “change the culture” and establish mandatory training of persons who prescribe prescription narcotics and dispense narcotics in this province. This training needs to include identification of addictive behavior. All of this should be managed and tracked through the prescription monitoring program. Whereas if you do not participate in the training you are not allowed to prescribe narcotics and methadone in the province of Nova Scotia. Further any person with the exception of those receiving narcotics for cancer treatment must be referred to a pain specialist if the use of narcotics for pain control is going to extend beyond a 1 month period. All patients receiving prescription narcotics will be advised as to the risks, signs and symptoms of addictions by the prescriber and be required to sign off on a patient contract with the prescriber.
The Minister needs to enact legislation that would enable and fund the ME to establish a morbidity and mortality review committee. The minister must establish a legislative mechanism that requires the reporting and sharing of information in all deaths through to the ME’s office. That this committee be required to publish an annual report of findings. That deaths requiring toxicology be completed and analyzed within 7 days. The province falls well short of the mark for reviewing deaths in this province. If we had an incident such as they had in Calgary ( Laced Ecstasy) that killed many young people we would not be able to respond quick enough.
Mark Mander, MBA
Chief of Police
Kentville Police Service