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Doctors Keep Deflecting Responsibility In RX Drug Abuse Epidemic

Today in the Herald the new President of Doctors Nova Scotia John Finley answered a question about prescription drug abuse.

Q: What are your thoughts on what appears to be the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. Are we doing enough to address this problem, and if not, what more could we do?
A: As you are well aware, this is a very complicated issue. No. 1, although our main aim here is to provide good health care to people, which involves some prescriptions, it appears some of those prescriptions go astray. And No. 2, there are some quote “prescription drugs” that are in circulation that have never been prescribed and, in fact, have been illegally manufactured.

So that really clouds the issue. This is one of those things where there are a number of agencies that have to work together. Certainly, important regulations have to be enforced and the College (of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia) is a major player in this area, and law enforcement agencies as well.

Kentville police chief, Mark Mander, is seen with an array of empty bottles of seized methadone and a vial of hydromorphone in his office in Kentville, Friday March 16, 2012. The bottles have the scripts from their prescriptions torn off by their illegal seller. (TIM KROCHAK / Herald Staff)

Unfortunately, really, there isn’t a simple solution. Certainly, the college has come out with updated guidelines, and it is an area that we’re making very clear to our members that they have to be very, very careful with (in terms of prescribing).Certainly, as we learn in medical school, every time a drug treatment is contemplated, you have to look at the benefits and the risks. There isn’t a drug that doesn’t have a side-effect with somebody. It may be there may be a another form of treatment that could be considered with that patient.

Again I was so disappointed to see the medical community not taking responsibility for their over prescribing habits . For him to say that some of the prescription drugs causing issues in our province have been illegally manufactured is simply not true and is trying to deflect any responsibility from the medical community. Police have said MANY times that the prescriptions they are taking off the streets in drug raids are from LEGAL prescriptions written by doctors . I would challenge Dr Finley to find records in NS of black market illegally manufactured painkillers being confiscated by police. If there has been that number would be extremely low ! The Gould report on Annapolis Valley RX Drug Overdoses states :

“Both Chief Mander and the RCMP confirmed that they have found evidence of the diversion for
abuse of prescriptions for opiates and other controlled substances (benzodiazepines) in
AVDHA. Based on police information, for the most part, pills appear to be diverted to an illicit
market in a variety of ways from prescriptions received and filled by patients within AVDHA.”

These drugs are coming from DOCTORS in Nova Scotia . They are not being cooked up in peoples basements or being shipped in from Columbia . If they are brought in from out of province they are still coming from a doctors RX pad , not made on the street . Until the medical community takes responsibility for their actions and is held accountable we will never get a head of the prescription drug abuse epidemic . Law Enforcement will constantly be chasing people who have a prescription to deal their drug of choice.

4 thoughts on “Doctors Keep Deflecting Responsibility In RX Drug Abuse Epidemic

  1. maybe they need to do random drug testing on the people that are prescribed these drugs. that way they would ensure the people being prescribed the drugs are actually the ones taking them!

    1. if you go to the hospital with pain here and you dont have a prescription but your reason for hospital is to get pills the doctor makes you take a urine test before he\she even looks at you. if you show any drugs in your system or if you are prescribed something and something different shows up than the doctor wont give you anything and e-mails your doctor to warn them about a possible problem.It is a pretty good system, also if you get a narcotic prescription you have to sign a contract and you can get called in any time for a consult and to see if you still have the same amount of pills your supposed to have so it is a pretty good system but the pills are still out there.

  2. Being a bit older, I can remember when the only serious pain-killer prescribed was Tylenol 3. People got by with that. Yes, some did experience more pain, but can we really say that as a society we are willing to look the other way at the amount of deaths caused by opiates so that others are relieved of pain?

    AERS1 Patient Outcomes by Year
    Year Death Serious

    2000 19,445 153,818
    2001 23,988 166,384
    2002 28,181 159,000
    2003 35,173 177,008
    2004 34,928 199,510
    2005 40,238 257,604
    2006 37,465 265,130
    2007 36,834 273,276
    2008 49,958 319,741
    2009 63,846 373,535
    2010 82,724 471,291

    Total 2000-2010 452,780 2,816,297

    Total 2001-2005 162,508 959,506
    Total 2006-2010 270,827 1,702,973
    % Chg +66.7% +77.5%

  3. I find the fact that in Nova Scotia we supposedly have control of prescription drugs to say the least hilarious. As we all know, nobody forces the addict to take drugs but to say that our system here in Nova Scotia monitors these drugs such as Ritalin for one would be funny if were not for its disasterous effects. When an individual can get 3 or 4 prescriptions from the same doctor and sign for them at the same drug store within a few weeks, where is the monitoring? My advice would be for the government to start monitoring the prescriptions written by some of its long timed established physicians in Halifax before they even cross the causeway to Cape Breton.

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