How will the increased access to Naloxone affect people who are struggling with opioid addiction? Canada has experienced an increase in several, unnecessary overdoses as a result of opioids, such as Fentanyl and heroin within the last year. As a result of numerous protests and demands from Canadians, the government recently allowed individuals to access the drug Naloxone, after Health Canada de-listed the drug so that no prescription is needed for purchase.
Of course, no one wants individuals to overdose on drugs. And if there is a drug that can help reverse the fatal effects of opioid abuse, why wouldn’t you make it accessible to everyone? But what comes afterwards? What are we doing to help those who clearly have an addiction and need more help?
Addiction affects more Canadians than you might think. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), “in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental health or addiction problem.” That’s roughly 1.5 million Canadians. Yet, only 143,000 access services for substance use disorder. The reality is there continues to be thousands of Canadians who need help to recover from addiction.
Many people may be accessing drugs that contain Fentanyl unknowingly or purposely, but that’s not the point. Not everyone who tries opioids are addicts, but some may be struggling with addiction- so what are we doing to help these people?
Naloxone is certainly a way to give people a second chance to life. An opportunity to make different decisions the next time, right? It’s not that simple. Addiction is not that simple. Mental illness is not simple. Addiction doesn’t happen overnight so why would recovery happen instantly?
It takes time, support and therapy to get someone who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol for years to recover. At the Edgewood Health Network, we provide a range of treatment services because we believe some clients require more intensive treatment programs than others. No two clients are alike and therefore treatment for each person can look different.
Healthcare professionals can help patients who have overdosed and used Naloxone by providing support options. Likewise, individuals should seek help from a healthcare professional after they’ve used Naloxone because it may be an indicator that professional help is required.
There are many options available for people who are struggling with addiction that can range from individual therapy, group support programs, outpatient-day programs to residential inpatient treatment programs. The first step is to talk to someone about it. Trying to do it on your own can be very challenging.
Support options available to Canadians who are looking for help with prescription drug abuse include:
- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
- Narcotics Anonymous (Nar-Anon)
- Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse: Addiction Treatment Help lines in Canada
- Edgewood Health Network
- Bellwood Health Services
- Edgewood Treatment Centre
If you or someone you know is struggling with a prescription drug problem, it’s important you seek professional help. You are not alone. Our team at the Edgewood Health Network can provide a confidential assessment and provide you with treatment options to get you on the path towards recovery. Call us to learn more: 1-800-683-0111.