Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused substance among Canadian youth

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Prescribing Risky Drugs

The Canadian Press

 

Toronto: Ottawa has issued a national call for proposals to improve prescribing practices for opioids and other drugs that pose a high risk of abuse or addiction.Health minister Rona-ambrose

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose says her department has earmarked $3.6 million to develop evidence-based practices for appropriate prescribing of the most commonly abused drugs: opioids, stimulants, sedatives and tranquillizers.

Prescription drugs are now the third most commonly abused substance among Canadian youth, after alcohol and marijuana.

A 2012 alcohol and drug use survey showed opioids are among the most commonly used prescription drugs, and almost one in six Canadians aged 15 and older reported having used the narcotic pain relievers in the previous 12 months.

Ambrose co-hosted a Toronto symposium earlier this year attended by doctors, pharmacists, law enforcement officials, addictions specialists and First Nations to discuss prescription drug abuse.

Prescription Medication Spilling From an Open Medicine BottleLast month, the health minister announced a proposal to regulate tamper-resistant properties for prescription drugs that are at a high risk of abuse, including controlled-release oxycodone.

“I recently announced that I am pursuing tamper-resistant properties in prescription drugs, so they are less likely to be crushed and snorted or injected as a way to help curb prescription drug abuse,” Ambrose said in a statement on July 25.

“Curbing prescription drug abuse is also about education. It’s about working with the prescribers around challenging issues like ‘doctor shopping’ and over-prescribing.”