Manitoba looks to reform child-welfare system
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is promising to reduce the number of kids in the province’s child-welfare system and help families reunite sooner.
Families Minister Scott Fielding says the government is going to speed up assessments of children when they are first taken into care, which currently can take up to four months.
The province is also going to look at narrowing and clarifying the reasons for taking children from their families. Fielding also says subsidies will be expanded to people who become permanent guardians and adoptive parents.
Some First Nations leaders have said children have been seized because of overcrowded housing conditions, even when there is no risk to their safety or health.
Lock up medication to prevent theft by teens, doctor says
VANCOUVER – A doctor who treats chronic substance users says teenagers who steal prescription medication from their family’s medicine cabinet may be at risk of becoming addicted to drugs.
Dr. William Barakett says parents need to lock up their drugs, return unused medication to a pharmacy and ensure their kids aren’t using drugs to mask an emotional disorder.
Barakett, an advisory council member for Drug Free Kids Canada, says parents should also take a “good hard look” at whether there’s a family history of addiction. He recently testified before a House of Commons committee hearing on marijuana and says many of his patients began smoking pot as kids before taking their family’s medication and seeking opioids elsewhere.
Mike Serr, chairman of the drug advisory committee for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, says parents often don’t notice when one or two pills are missing, especially if a drug is taken occasionally.
Fentanyl mostly responsible for new height in B.C. drug deaths VICTORIA - More people died from illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia in the first eight months of this year than all of 2016.
The coroner’s service says the 1,013 people who died from overdoses from January to the end of August surpasses a record 982 deaths last year. The latest figures for 2017 show fentanyl was detected either alone or with another drug in more than 80 per cent of the deaths.
The province declared a state of emergency last year and brought in a number of initiatives and harm-reduction measures to try and reduce overdoses.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says the increase in deaths highlights the complex issues of drug dependency and the need for people to know that no illicit substance can be considered safe. The statistics show 91 per cent of those who died this year were aged 19 to 59 and 80 per cent of those were men.