Over the next decade, opioids, stimulants, and sedatives will be monitored by a nationwide surveillance system. Every prescription that is written by a physician and filled at a pharmacy is logged into the system. Doctors must write prescriptions on record in an effort to eliminate the ability of physicians and pharmacists to give out too many medications to the same person, and to be alert to who has been given what, and when.
With the plan, called First Do No Harm, It sounds like Canada, as a country, will prevent rising levels of addiction.
The surveillance system will deter people from doctor-shopping, or seeking the same painkiller or anti-anxiety med, for example, for several different doctors so that more pills can be taken each day than a regular monthly dose would allow, and will keep people with a known history of addiction from getting pills of any kind.
So what’s the problem? Well, the national plan is difficult to regulate because Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial laws and jurisdictions are not regulated together. Current legislation needs to be changed so that personal data can be collected and stored in one system that is accessible anywhere in the country.
As Canada creates their national plan to fight prescription drug abuse, the nation is also working on education and prevention to help with the problem on the front end. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse is determining ways to best help stop young Canadians from experimenting with drugs frivolously, and to treat those who have become addicted to prescription drugs.
Canada’s public health care system may contribute to the greater availability of prescription drugs that have lead many to abuse and addiction, so the changes being made over the next 10 years could reshape the way medications are prescribed, administered, monitored, assessed, and ultimately viewed by that nation’s people.