Nurses and doctors are talking addictions in P.E.I. today.
The Medical Society of P.E.I. and the Association of Registered Nurses are holding a joint conference in Cornwall today called ‘Addictions Unplugged – dispelling myths, facing facts and moving forward in addictions training on P.E.I.’
It’s the first time these two organizations have joined forces to offer an event such as this for medical professionals in the province.
Cheryl Banks, president of the nurse’s association, said statistics across the country show addictions are becoming more prevalent and health care professionals are not immune.
“We face the same stressors, the same problems, the same issues as everyone else, so we want to make sure we can educate our membership, health care providers in general, so they can recognize the signs early and intervene.”
One of the presentations this morning was made by RCMP officers to the Medical Society. It was a members-only session, but Cpl. Andy Cook told The Guardian before the meeting he planned to speak to Island physicians about the growing problem of prescription pill abuse in P.E.I.
“About 75 per cent of our work in drug enforcement right now is with prescription drugs, so that’s really our focus… it’s our problem right now.”
Cook said he hopes the health professionals attending the conference today will recognize that opiate abuse and addiction in P.E.I. is a serious issue and one that needs a multi-pronged approach.
“There are some overall issues that we, as police, can’t address,” Cook said.
“The only way for this issue to be addressed is through cooperation from the different disciplines. Its not just an enforcement problem, it’s not just an addiction problem; it’s also not just the medical community’s problem. Finger pointing will get us nowhere, but cooperative efforts will certainly move the issue forward.”
Full details about this conference will be available online later today and in tomorrow's print and E-edition of The Guardian.