Lo­cal task force fights OxyCon­tin abuse

Seaway News - - AUTO TALK -

The OxyCon­tin and Other Pre­scrip­tion Opi­ates task force is work­ing hard to re­duce the abuse of OxyCon­tin and pre­scrip­tion opi­ates in Corn­wall, Ak­we­sasne and the United Coun­ties of Stor­mont, Dun­das, Glen­garry and Prescott-Rus­sell.

Of­ten used as a pain re­liever, OxyCon­tin pro­duces an opi­ate-like ef­fect ( sim­i­lar to heroin), which makes it highly ad­dic­tive. To help com­bat this prob­lem, the multi agency task force is work­ing to make rec­om­men­da­tions to schools, agen­cies and other stake­hold­ers to re­duce the risk to our pop­u­la­tion as a whole.

Ac­cord­ing to Corn­wall’s With­drawal Man­age­ment Ser­vices, 20% of ad­mis­sions in 2009 were re­lated to pre­scrip­tion opi­oids.

“ Be­cause OxyCon­tin is a pre­scribed drug, peo­ple seem to think that it’s safer than il­le­gal drugs. But what peo­ple don’t re­al­ize is that Oxy can be highly ad­dic­tive and dan­ger­ous. We’re now see­ing high num­bers of teens, adults and older adults com­ing in for Oxy with­drawal. Un­for­tu­nately, many of the peo­ple who come in for detox are put on a wait­ing list for treat­ment. We need to lobby for more ser­vices in our area,” ex­plains Marc Giguère, Su­per­vi­sor With­drawal Man­age­ment Ser­vices at Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal.

The Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Po­lice Ser­vice has also seen a rise in the use of OxyCon­tin and other pre­scrip­tion opi­ates. “ Many com­mu­ni­ties across the prov­ince are fac­ing a sim­i­lar rise in the in­stance of OxyCon­tin abuse. In Corn­wall we are tak­ing a pro-ac­tive ap­proach by work­ing closely with the East­ern On­tario Health Unit and other agen­cies to ad­dress this prob­lem and to ed­u­cate our res­i­dents on the dangers of these drugs,” ex­plains Danny Aikman, Deputy Chief, Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Po­lice Ser­vice.

The task force is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a com­pre­hen­sive aware­ness cam­paign to bring more at­ten­tion to the is­sue. “ In Septem­ber, we’ll be host­ing an OxyCon­tin work­shop for physi­cians and phar­ma­cists. The goal is to bring more aware­ness to the is­sue and work to­gether on pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to help pro­tect the res­i­dents in our com­mu­ni­ties,” ex­plains Dr. Paul Roume­li­o­tis, Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health, East­ern On­tario Health Unit.

If you or some­one you know is strug­gling with an ad­dic­tion, call Ad­dic­tion Ser­vices of East­ern On­tario at 613936-9236, With­drawal Man­age­ment Ser­vices at 613-938-8506, the Mental Health Cri­sis line at 1-866-996-0991 or the Com­mu­nity Con­nec­tions line ( Ad­dic­tion and Mental Health Ser­vices In­for­ma­tion and Re­fer­ral Line) at 1866-632-8885 for Prescott-Rus­sell or 1888-933-4141 for Corn­wall, Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry.

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