Health care experts in Canada are calling for a public health emergency, as opioid misuse continues to swell.
“The reason that the U.S. and Canada are experiencing an epidemic of addiction and overdose death is because the medical community has been over-prescribing these medications,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. “The reason we started to over prescribe is because we were responding to a brilliant marketing campaign started in the late 90s. We heard from drug companies that we’ve been allowing patients to suffer needlessly because of an overblown fear of addiction. As doctors started to prescribe more aggressively as the prescriptions increased, so did the rate of addiction and overdose deaths.”