Lock up med­i­ca­tion to pre­vent theft by teens, doc­tor says

The Western Star - - Canada -

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.

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