Drug education should be ex­panded

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Pot isn’t safe for the young (May 15)

“Hon­est education,” John Roe says, “is the best way for­ward.” Right-on, John!

Fur­ther­more, your sug­ges­tion should ap­ply to pre­scribed drugs, not only to pot.

Our adult daugh­ter died in 1999 of a self-ad­min­is­tered over­dose of Per­coset, which she had been pre­scribed for pain. We were not told, from that day to this, that Per­coset is an ad­dic­tive opi­oid that should be taken only un­der close su­per­vi­sion. Our “education” in th­ese crit­i­cal mat­ters has been en­tirely self-education, all of it too late.

Health care pro­fes­sion­als in re­cent years have been tak­ing a more ac­tive part in ed­u­cat­ing and fol­low­ing up clients’ pre­scrip­tions. This trend needs to be for­mal­ized and made a manda­tory part of ev­ery pre­scrip­tion. The cur­rent wordy, dis­or­ga­nized, confusing pam­phlets do not serve. In the spe­cific case of Per­coset, as a min­i­mum the client should be told in writ­ing some­thing like: “Per­coset is pre­scribed for pain re­lief. It is an ad­dic­tive opi­oid (an opium de­riv­a­tive) and must be taken only un­der close su­per­vi­sion and as di­rected.” If we’d had any­thing like this kind of warn­ing in 1999, our daugh­ter very pos­si­bly would still be with us. Frank Gue, Burling­ton

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