The alarming rate of deaths caused by overdoses of opioids, highly addictive painkillers, is resulting in doubts of the government’s role in fixing the problem. With many other problems plaguing the country, the government should not be solely responsible for dealing with the opioid crisis.
What is Canada doing?
The Canadian federal government has many issues they must tend to on a daily basis, which revolve around national defence, external relations and so on. Focusing on one problem and ignoring the rest for awhile will do this country no good.
On top of the opioid crisis, the Canadian government must deal with the unreasonably long wait times for medical care. According to Christina Lawand, a senior researcher at the Canadian Institute for Health Information, “We’re not really seeing improvements over the last 10 years in timely access to care from a patient’s perspective, particularly when we look at timely access to family doctors or primary-care doctors or to specialists and for emergency department wait times.” (Ubelacker)
In spite of providing the sick with the help they need, Canada is also making an effort to fix the opioid overdosing. In fact, the Canada’s health minister announced a 10-year, $1.4 billion health-funding agreement with British Columbia, and a multimillion dollar investment to fight the opioid crisis across the country. The money will be used for better lab testing, better data and surveillance, better toxicology therefore more scientific study of the disastrous effects of the drugs.(Staff)
However, is money enough?
The citizens of Canada need to be educated on the effects of these drugs, especially the youth. With this essential information, we could have avoided the death of 18 year-old Teslin, who was found dead on the bathroom floor in her family’s home. She unknowingly overdosed on counterfeit Percocet painkillers laced with Fentanyl, a deadly opioid about 100 times more powerful than morphine. (Dunham)
Some people have started to raise awareness about the dangers of drug use in their communities and rally them together to talk about the issue. For example, Sean O’Leary, the father of a teen who had struggled with opioid addiction, organized a “Town Hall type” meeting for families in a community in Ottawa and said Ottawa Health promised them full support by supplying treatment kits with Naloxone, a life-saving antidote to opioids. (Dunham)
Dr. Benedikt Fischer of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto said, “It is late — but not too late — to move toward reducing the toll of opioid overuse and abuse in Canada”. Hence, let’s work together to stop the opioid overdose epidemic before it truly is too late. (The Canadian Press)