Health officials monitoring highly addictive drug prescriptions

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Trends in opioid tablet prescriptions on P.E.I.

The P.E.I. government is now monitoring a list of the most highly addictive, commonly prescribed drugs to identify instances of misuse and help curb prescription drug abuse in the province.


These are all commonly prescribed drugs needed for legitimate medical conditions but can end up being sold and abused.

The monitoring and reporting of drugs under the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act is part of the  actions announced to address concerns of rising prescription drug abuse.

The Island has seen an increase of almost 18 per cent in opioid-based prescriptions and a 47 per cent increase in stimulant prescriptions in the 2009 to 2012 period alone.

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • been there. done that
    February 10, 2014 - 18:43

    Please stop wasting time and money on these so called studies, graphs and finger pointing and start doing something to help treat those people and their families who are struggling with addictions! Every day, hour and min is hell for people struggling through an opiate addiction. They need the help NOW! Who care if its the doctors fault or the dealers, blaming isnt going to help anyone. Im a recovery two years now, from an opiate addiction. Im being treated with methadone. I was on a waiting list for four years before i got on it. In those four years i lost all respect for my myself, my family lost all faith, hope and trust in me, i lost my career, my home, my family, my kids, my health, i now have hep C a criminal slowly working my way to becoming a productive contributing member of society takes time because of burned a lot of bridges and have to prove thati can be trusted again but im still very happy that i got a chance to try and live a clean life again..thanks to finally getting accepted into methadone program but had i not had to wait four years how much wish i would have not had towait four years. ....maybe i would still have family, my health..lots of the things i lost. Addiction is a any other disease...its progressive and eventually fatal. Its has stages and symptoms..the biggest side effect is loss any addict or addicts family will tell you. Please everyday addicts are suffering...they shouldnt have to wait years for treatment!! every day counts that nothing being done to actually helps...enough paying big bucks to pay for studies..lets put that money into more beds at Mt. Herbert or help families to cover costs to relocate if PEI doesnt have the resources. To all those still suffering...please dont give up. .sometimes seems like theres no hope in PEI but hang in might get lucky and only have to wait 2yrs for treatment

    • You are an inspiration
      February 10, 2014 - 22:26

      Congratulations on your recovery. It sounds like you had a long, hard battle with addiction but, thankfully, you received the help that you needed. I wish you continued success and all the good things life has to offer. Take care.

  • disgusted
    February 10, 2014 - 15:12

    where did you get you figures ? Did you take into consideration the number of people taking pain medication while wating to see a specialist or for surgery ? These are long wating lists ! Did you factor in the increase in the population of PEI over this period ? Probally not and your throwing out numbers and grafts that are nothing more then a smoke screen to cover the poor job you have done in the mental health addiction area. Trying to place the blame for perscription drug abuse at the doors of our Island Dr's is a slap in the face to the very people that each day try and give quality care in a health care system that has been so badly damaged by you goverment it may never recover How will this info benfit people with addictions? none ! stop playing the blame game, paying consultants, getting you pic on TV and listen. Addictions and mental health issues are the gages of the society you goveren, a unhealthy population becomes a traget for an increase in drug AND acohol abuse. You have provide no resourses or help for these issues, expecially our youth. Seeing that you have access to such good info and numbers answer these question. What ℅ of perscription drugs are from Island Dr,s versus street drugs brought in from elsewhere? What was the increase in other drugs ie anti-depressants, anti .inflammantorys ect ? show us the grafts for these drugs. We have many problems and very few solution stop throwing money away that could be used to increase bed space at addictions, drug consulors in schools, more mental health spaces and shorter wait times, you get my point. Stop wasting taxpayers valuable time and money trying to make it look like you are doing something and actually do it.

  • Douglas
    February 10, 2014 - 13:18

    Do people not realize that the people selling this stuff also use it so to take urine tests will do nothing. We have to have tougher laws for selling on the streets and for doctors over prescribing. First time caught selling should be automatic 5 years in jail period and no early release and then automatic 10 years second offence etc. etc. You want to rat out your so called friends go ahead but you are not getting off any easier. We might have more people in jail but that would only be temporary as once these younger kids see what would really happen to them they would think twice about selling. As far as the so called bigger fish go, once there is no younger kids there to sell for them they will be out of business or in jail themselves. No more B.S, we have to do something about this......

      February 10, 2014 - 20:45

      This kind of harsh sentences for people with addictions don't work, look to the US. The only thing that works is treatment and education.

  • Jerry
    February 10, 2014 - 10:12

    Considering the island only started getting pain management doctors the past 3 years. The amount of increased prescriptions seem rather low if you take this into account. PEI use to have one pain management doctor with a 1 to 2 year wait list. Now we have many who do a wonderful job at helping people with real life pain issues. The same will go for the new health canada medical marijuana in April. You will always have someone bootlegging it. 2014 and we still have bootleggers selling liquor . Someone will always spoil it for the people who really do need it. The doctors should randomly call patients back into the office for a random count of their meds if they are suspected of selling them.

    • FairTreatment
      February 10, 2014 - 11:49

      Painkillers should be treated the same as methadone and suboxone which is used in the treatment of addiction. Patients should be called for random urine samples to make sure that they are really taking the medication. I find it ironic that painkillers are given out freely and that there is no monitoring on the patient's usage, but if you become addicted, then your treatment is monitored constantly through daily visits to the pharmacy where they watch you take the treatment, regular urine samples at doctor's visits and calls to come in and give a urine sample anytime the doctor/nurse wants you to. Doctors who prescribe painkillers should be constantly monitored to ensure that they are not over prescribing and that they are keeping close tabs on the health of the people they are prescribing the drugs for. No one should ever be able to walk into a clinic or the QEH and walk out with a prescription for a painkiller but the reality is that it still happens and yet, if you are an addict and show up at the QEH in withdrawal, they send you home. Doctors are a huge part of this problem - through over prescribing, not monitoring their patient's usage of these prescriptions and quite frankly, not having the intelligence to look beyond the drug companies sales pitches. The information about addictions from opiates was around for years before the doctors woke up and started seeing the problems.

    • A
      February 10, 2014 - 11:59

      They also should do random blood test to see if they are using the medications and not just faking illness and selling medications.