Canadian government investing in prescription drug addiction research

published on February 16, 2016 by Alex Soloducha in Kelowna Now

The Canadian government is working to cut down the number of prescription drug addictions in the country.

Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced Tuesday that the federal government will be investing $4.4 million towards research into prescription drugs, and how to make people healthier who take them.

This announcement comes just a day after the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has released an opioid overdose strategy.

“British Columbia has been particularly hard hit by prescription drug abuse with an alarming rate of overdose deaths,” said Dr. Evan Wood, Professor of Medicine, UBC & Principal Investigator in BC, in a statement. “Through the support of CIHR and British Columbia’s Ministry of Health, the province’s CRISM node is excited to work on innovative research that will meaningfully improve public health and safety.”

The study will compare and evaluate two treatments for prescription opioid dependence. Currently, methadone is mainly used in Canada, while buprenorphine/naloxone is usually the therapy of choice in the U.S.

The study will take into account treatment conditions and available support.

“We are confident that this research will help address the devastating impact of prescription drug abuse, focus on prevention, and offer effective solutions to those facing these issues,” said Dr. Anthony Phillips, Scientific Director at the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences in Mental Health and Addiction, in a statement.

They will also compare how effective both treatments are.

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