What do you mean by prescription drugs?
The overwhelming majority of prescribed medicines do not turn into addictions, and more often than not a prescribed drug doesn’t make us high or offer us any sort of “buzz” that would encourage us to keep taking it after our affliction has been treated. In some cases though, particularly when opioid medications are prescribed, many of us fall victim to the pleasant feelings and addictive chemical compounds that make up the drug. Oxycontin, dilaudid, morphine and fentanyl are just some of the often prescribed pain-killers that so many Canadians continue to use, and often abuse, long after their illness, surgery or injury has passed.
Aren’t there warnings on the label? Don’t doctors warn their patients?
Yes to both questions, but due to doctors being busy and labels often going ignored, it can be very difficult to adequately warn those who are prescribed addictive medications. It’s also not their faults they become addicted, it’s chemicals interacting with chemicals within our bodies and brains, and pleasure responses deep within our brains as well. How can a doctor possibly explain all this to a patient in extreme pain? Surely a miniature warning on a tiny bottle won’t do much good either, and therein lies the problem. Folks need these drugs to recover, more often than not, and are unfortunately vulnerable to becoming addicted, and there isn’t anyone in particular to really point the finger at. Yes some doctors are “pill pushers” or simply don’t care enough to express their concern when prescribing, and opioid medicines are indeed overprescribed, but it’s a problem with far too many factors to offload a lion’s share of the blame onto just one party.
What does the Canadian government have to say?
From the Government of Canada’s official site:
“Prescription drug abuse is a serious public health and safety issue that impacts individuals, families and communities across Canada. The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, are encouraging all Canadians to participate in National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day on Saturday, May 9, which will be coordinated by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police in communities across Canada.”