Starting October, all prescription medications dispensed in Canada will carry a yellow warning sticker informing buyers about the potential side effects of prescription opioids. Pharmacists will also need to distribute information handouts containing warning about the possible health risks of prescription opioids, including that of an overdose. The new regulations issued by the Canada government will also require pharmaceutical companies to develop risk-management plans to reduce the potential harmful effects associated with drug abuse.
The recent move is an effort by Health Canada to contain the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. It is for the first time that the government has issued regulations pertaining to warning labels and patient handouts for medicines dispensed by pharmacies, and put conditions on their licenses. When abused, prescription drugs can have serious medical consequences for users who may then need professional drug abuse therapy at certified drug addiction rehab facilities.
Effort to educate users about risks associated with prescription opioids
The warning label on medicine containers will warn the consumers that opioids can cause dependence, addiction and overdose. Meanwhile, the patient handouts will contain serious warning signs of drug use with life-threatening effects and possible withdrawal symptoms; information about overdose signs like hallucinations and drowsiness; potential side effects of opioids like reduced physical and/or mental abilities, and risks for family, friends and pets due to unsafe storage or disposal of opioids.
According to Health Canada’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma, while the stickers will act as a visual warning, the consumer handouts would encourage patients to have ongoing conversations with their health care providers about correct usage instructions and possible hazards and benefits associated with prescription opioids. Since there has been a consistent increase in the number of opioid prescriptions in Canada, the new move will hopefully help in combating prescription drug abuse and its repercussions.
New Jersey advances Bill to carry warning sticker
Even in the United States, the federal and state governments are striving hard to tackle the opioid epidemic. In March 2018, the New Jersey Assembly Panel advanced a bill, making it mandatory for prescription bottles to carry a warning about the dangers of opioids. According to the bill’s proponents, the current warning labels are not enough. If passed, the new bill would require each prescription bottle to have a red sticker on the cap, stating that the medicine is an opioid that can cause addiction and overdose.
According to Assemblyman John Armato, also a certified recovery coach, the move will be an easy and cost-effective way to help save lives. The proposed bill would help consumers identify that the drugs they are buying are opioids and would also help them learn the dangers associated with it.
Dealing with opioid addiction
Opioid, including prescription drugs, overdose claims over 115 lives each day, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In spite of initiatives taken both at the state and federal levels, opioid epidemic continues to devastate families. For those addicted to any opioid, the earlier they seek help, the better their lives would be.
Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral and substance abuse treatment center in Florida, offering top-notch care to adult men and women at both its Fort Myers and Pompano Beach facilities. Basis an individual’s needs and severity of the symptoms, treatment for opioid addiction may include a well-planned detox followed by behavioral and recreational therapies, and continuing care programs. For more information on our evidence-based treatment programs or to locate our credible opiate detox centers, call an expert at our 24/7 helpline number or chat online now.
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