In Ontario, Canada, the OxyContin abuse epidemic has become so severe that the province’s ministry of health is set to install strict new guidelines in how the painkiller is both prescribed and dispensed, according to this article in the Toronto Sun. Among other things, the government will require physicians to consider if a person has ever taken opioids previously before sending them off with a prescription and put more emphasis on whether pills should be prescribed to fulfill the need for a few days or a week instead of longer periods of time, the article says. A computer monitoring and tracking system is also being finalized to help monitor painkiller prescriptions. But critics have expressed skepticism about these measures, arguing that an emphasis on treatment, rehabilitation and education would be more effective, according to the article.
Read more about Canada’s OxyContin troubles here.