Canada’s health ministers met last week — looking at ways to combat the growing crisis of opioid addictions in Canada.
Regina and Saskatoon have the highest rates of hospitalizations for opioid poisoning among similar-sized Prairie cities
Those numbers were released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information last month.
Rand Teed is a drug and alcohol counsellor and educator in Regina. He says it is good Canada’s health ministers take this issue seriously, he says there are several ‘big pictures’ when it comes to addiction.
“While opioids certainly are a factor we need to pay attention to, I think we need to pay more attention to the bigger pictures,” Teed said. “So, alcohol abuse, substance abuse and how society looks at that.”
Teed says it’s important health ministers also consult with addictions counsellors like him, as they have first-hand knowledge of this epidemic.
“I’m encouraged by their discussion,” Teed said. “I’m not sure they’re always getting their information from the right people. You know, those who have boots on the ground and who are working in this area.”
Teed says with 70 cases of hospitalization due to significant opioid poisonings in Regina last year, all levels of government should be taking opioid overdoses and death very seriously
“I think our elected leaders can certainly take a leadership role,” Teed said. “We have a ministry of health and part of their responsibility is prevention education.”
The Canadian Institute for Health Information says 16 Canadians a day are being hospitalized for opioid toxicity