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.
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.