Health Minister John Haggie admits figures released last week on hospitalizations in the province due to opioid poisoning are “troubling.”
The CIHI report found that Newfoundland and Labrador led Atlantic Canada in hospitalizations due to opioids, and Minister Haggie says the province still has the highest per capita number of people who are prescribed opioids.
That, says Haggie, is why the prescription monitoring program introduced earlier this year is so important.
He says the new program, introduced in June, has already reaped some positive results.
He says in the first four months they’ve seen a 15 per cent reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions issued. Haggie says if that rate continues, they’ll have halved the number of opioid prescriptions within the first calendar year of operation.
That mirrors the experience in British Columbia which has led the way in addressing the issue.