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  DRPS Joins Forces to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Nov 05, 2014 11:40 ET

On November 4, 2014, Lakeridge Health hosted a collaborative group of health officials from across the Region, pharmacists, physicians, support workers and law enforcement officials, to work through the details to develop a Fentanyl Patch for Patch program.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful pain medication, explained Dr. Robert Kyle, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Durham Public Health. Prescriptions for Fentanyl are usually made for people fighting some forms of cancer and for some people in palliative care, he explained.

As the supply of OxyContin and other potent opioids has been cut off on the street, Fentanyl has gained in popularity, said DRPS Deputy Chief Burns. Addiction spurs crime in our community because people will break into homes, businesses and pharmacies to get money to supply their addiction, he added.

In the past year the number of overdose cases we see in our Emergency Department monthly has increased by 50 percent, said Kevin Empey, Lakeridge Health President and CEO. We have been treating people with addictions, but it is clear that is not enough to tackle this challenge.

A Patch for Patch model would mean that anyone renewing a prescription would need to return used patches to their pharmacy before any new ones are dispensed. This helps ensure safe disposal and responsible usage.

Patch for Patch is a real partnership - from the physicians prescribing and the pharmacist dispensing to the patient ensuring that leftover patches are returned to support for those addicted and judicial measures for those trying to criminally profit from illegal sales.

When implemented in early 2015, Durham Region would be the third Patch for Patch program in Ontario. It has been successfully implemented in North Bay and Peterborough.

North Division CRU officers recognized a rise in the illegal use in Fentanyl and death of citizens partaking in the drug without a prescription. Due to the small community ties, it was recognized that traditional investigations would be fruitless. It was further recognized that this was not just a police issue, but an issue that affects many different stakeholders in the community.

As we were putting together a team to look at creating a Patch for Patch program, Pinewood and Lakeridge Health were creating a Durham Overdose Prevention Committee. The timing and fit of this was perfect and we started working on a Regional Strategy.

For more information, contact Lakeridge Health Communications at 905-576-8711 ext. 4317.

Below are attached files.
Patch for Patch (JPG file, 1,417.3K bytes)