Canada | Opinion

Chelsea Vowel: Prescription abuse a problem for First Nations

"OxyContin is a powerful and potentially addictive painkiller. As has been noted in a number of other news reports, abuse of this drug is a Canada-wide problem.

In November 2009, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), which represents 49 First Nations in northern Ontario (a population of about 45,000 people) declared a “Prescription Drug Abuse State of Emergency.” This resolution notes that prescription drug abuse, particularly of opiods like OxyContin, is an escalating crisis and calls upon both levels of government to immediately enhance community-based programming to deal with it.

By September 2011, police were stretched to the breaking point in many NAN communities with the rise of addictions, and the response from provincial and federal governments is described by NAN as “minimal.”

Another First Nations crisis ignored."

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Chelsea Vowel: OxyContin Abuse Is a Problem in Canada (Indian Country Today 3/5)

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