Townhall on the Abuse of Prescription Drugs

January 21, 2013


(West Vancouver, January 21, 2013)  Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq recently announced new rules to address prescription drug abuse. The new rules include tough new conditions on licenses for companies that distribute potentially addictive drugs like OxyContin and OxyNeo.


After working for the last year on an initiative to combat the abuse of prescription drugs, MP John Weston yesterday held a Community Forum and Roundtable meeting on prescription drug abuse. Hosted by the West Vancouver School District at the Kay Meek Centre, the event included Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse CEO Michel Perron, West Vancouver Police Department Constable Glenn Marshall and a panel of key stakeholders. “We felt this was an excellent opportunity for our parent and student community to learn and ask questions about this troubling health issue,” said Chris Kennedy, West Vancouver School District, CEO and Superintendent.


Weston has continued to seek support from the Ministries of Health, Public Safety, and Justice for the creation of a National Take-Back Day, on which Canadians will be encouraged to return unused prescription drugs for their safe disposal.


Once again, congratulations to Mr. Weston and his team on your successes to date,” said West Vancouver Police Chief Peter Lepine, “I continue to look forward to working with him and others on any initiative that will enhance our ability to save lives, particularly those of our youth.”


Illicit use of licit drugs is an urgent national health issue,” says Michel Perron, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. “Recent national data shows that in the past year, more than 20 percent of Canadians aged 15 years and older (1 in 5 Canadians) reported non-medical use of prescription pain relievers, stimulants and sedatives.”


A National Take-Back Day will help to reduce the risk of pharmaceutical drugs falling into the wrong hands and causing significant harm and, in some cases, death from overdose.


Building on my previous Private Member’s Bill, “Combating Crystal Meth Act”, the abuse of prescription drugs has been identified as the new frontier in the battle against substance abuse,” said Weston. “I am grateful to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, the West Vancouver Police Department, and the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs for working with me to combat this abuse. Among other things, we are looking at the creation of a National Drug Take Back Day to facilitate safe disposal of unwanted prescription drugs. People throughout the community have joined with me on this.”