Ontario Moves To Reduce Narcotics Abuse

November 29, 2010

McGuinty Government’s Narcotics Safety And Awareness Act Receives Third Reading

Ontario is taking action to reduce the growing abuse of prescription narcotics and controlled substances with new legislation.

The Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act was passed by the legislature today and upon Royal Assent will enable the province to collect and track information on all narcotics and other controlled substances dispensed in Ontario.The legislation is a key component of the province’s Narcotics Strategy and will allow the province to create a database that will flag unusual patterns of narcotics and other controlled substances prescribing and dispensing. In instances of inappropriate activity, responses could include educational support and resources, reporting to the appropriate regulatory college and in extreme circumstances, law enforcement.

Other elements of the Narcotics Strategy include:

• Educating the health care sector on appropriate prescribing and dispensing
• Education to prevent excessive use of prescription narcotics
• Expanding the treatment of addictions.


> Prescription narcotics (also referred to as opioids) are drugs used to relieve pain.
> Ontario has the highest rate of narcotics use in Canada.
> The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care spent $156 million on narcotics for Ontario Drug Benefit Program recipients in 2009-10, for 3.9 million prescriptions. This equates to an average of over six prescriptions per person, and an annual cost of $260 per person.
> Narcotics abuse-related admissions to publicly funded treatment and addiction services in Ontario doubled from 2004-08.


Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy
Find out more about Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy.
Narcotics Advisory Panel members.


David Jensen
Communications Branch

For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline
(Toll-free in Ontario only)

Ivan Langrish
Minister’s Office

Media Line
Toll-free: 1-888-414-4774
GTA: 416-314-6197

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