Quoting the article:
To many patients, prescription pills represent a respite from chronic pain and suffering, but to the approximately 200,000 Canadians hooked on painkillers, the medicine cabinet has led to what doctors are calling a national prescription drug crisis.
Last year, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) introduced a strategy to combat the problem. Facing particular scrutiny are opioids, the classification of narcotics made from opium and that include household names Oxycontin, codeine, Vicodin and Demerol. Far from harmless, they are similar in chemical makeup, addictive quality and impact on the body to heroin and can have long-term physical effects that range from sedation to hormone interference.
The government’s new strategy is recontextualizing what drug addiction represents in Canada—it’s a health issue.” That shift hopefully means a more open conversation about treatment options and control for a problem that has, up until the past few years, gone largely unacknowledged.
Warning signs of prescription drug abuse:
Physical: bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, sudden weight loss or gain, slurred speech, tremors or impairment.
Behavioural: shirking responsibilities, using more of a drug than prescribed, and purposefully going to multiple pharmacies and doctors.
Psychological: sudden mood swings, changes in attitude, angry outbursts, anxious or paranoid behaviour.
How to handle a possible prescription pill addiction in your family:
First, talk to the person and express concern. Often, if a loved one is addicted, they won’t want to engage, says David Juurlink, drug safety researcher and associate professor at the University of Toronto. If they demur, talk to their doctor. “More often than not, I suspect the doctor doesn’t realize there’s a problem,” he says. Although patient-physician confidentiality means a doctor can’t divulge information, they’re entitled to receive details about a patient.
How to discuss dosages with your doctor:
Addiction implies a pattern of use despite harm to oneself. So while you may not be addicted, you can still have concerns about the doses of your drugs. Ask your practitioner if it’s conceivable to dial a dosage down gradually. According to Juurlink, high levels of some prescription painkillers have been shown to worsen pain. If you’re concerned for your safety, inquire.
How can we help?
The Healthy Workplaces blog is brought to you by Homewood Human Solutions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care organization with a focus on mental health and addictions, employee and family assistance, disability management, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?
Nationwide EFAP and Disability Programs
Homewood Human Solutions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the market: the highest quality of clinical support and intervention available within the EFAP industry, and an unmatched continuum of services — spanning health promotion, mental health and addictions treatment, and prevention-focused work-life counselling services.
Effective disability management for mental illness must go beyond “managing” disability to include both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Treatment goals must incorporate strategies for successful work reintegration to minimize recurrence and relapse.
The Homewood Disability Treatment Program (HDTP) combines the services available through the Homewood Health Centre – a nationally recognized mental health and addiction treatment centre with the best national network of skilled mental health and addiction treatment professionals through Homewood Human SolutionsTM.
Nationally recognized mental health and addiction facilities
Homewood Health Centre is Canada’s unsurpassed medical leader in addiction and mental health treatment, providing highly specialized psychiatric services to all Canadians. We are a 312-bed, Schedule 1 facility under the Ontario Mental Health Act. We operate nine programs treating a range of mental health and addiction issues.
Homewood Health Centre is located in Guelph, Ontario.
Continuum of care facilities for older adults (long-term care and retirement homes)
Schlegel Villages are designed, built and managed by the Schlegel family of Kitchener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Village to Care” lives on.
Canadian owned and operated, our Villages benefit from the Schlegel family having over 40 years of direct experience co-owning, managing and operating Long Term Care and Retirement Communities in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Villages housing approximately 2500 seniors. Each Village has a Long Term Care component, with Full Service Retirement Living, Assisted Care, Memory Care and Independent Living options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Village opened in 1998 in Guelph.
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