Prescription painkiller abuse in Hamilton just keeps growing. Doctors, police and addictions specialists are watching with increasing concern: it is a pervasive and deepening problem that is just not going away.
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This rapid rise has led to a special task force to find ways to better work together to combat the growing problem, and overhaul the way prescription opioids are handled and tracked through Hamilton.
Here is the replay from a live audio interview with Dr. Norm Buckley, professor and chair in the Department of Anaesthesia at McMaster's Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine. Buckley was instrumental in the formation of this group, and will speak about the problem and just how it might be fixed.
This group brings together those who see the benefits of prescription painkillers when used properly and the people who deal with the consequences when they are not. They're trying to work through the needs of both: availability for the beneficial uses, as well as control and management to prevent abuse.
They are working to overcome lack of communication between those two sides – an issue that allows people to slip through the cracks and makes the system easier to abuse.
“People have to get to know each other Buckley told CBC Hamilton. “The police have to get to know the docs, who have to get to know the coroner. You have to figure out how to communicate."