Constraining pain medication will only worsen drug problem

Limiting access to alcohol led to chaos during the Prohibition. Will constraining opioids do the same?

Constraining pain medication will only worsen drug problemThere are so many reasons to be very glad that we live in Canada – one of the main is that we’re governed by the rule of law. Laws and the rules and regulations that underpin them are enacted by democratically-elected governments. They’re enforced and upheld by police and courts that are amazingly upright and…

Opioids are killing Canadians in the thousands

Abstinence-based treatment is ineffective. We need to invest heavily in harm reduction strategies

Opioids are killing Canadians in the thousandsBy Sen. Jane Cordy and Sen. Raymonde Gagné “I wasn’t born to be a drug addict,” said a brave member of the audience at our recent open caucus meeting in the Senate on the Opioid Crisis in Canada. He told us of his struggle with drug addiction over two decades. His closing words hung in…

Cannabis legalization missteps leave little faith for solving opioid crisis

The delays, mistakes and outright incompetence related to cannabis legalization suggest we won't be able to manage opioid use

Cannabis legalization missteps leave little faith for solving opioid crisisEver since the oft-delayed rollout of legal recreational cannabis sales in Canada on Oct. 17, there have been problems across this vast and highly regulated land. All of these problems mean the illegal cannabis market remains intact. They also suggest we won't be particularly adept at handling legitimate drug crisis in this country. The cannabis-related…

Not all cannabis candies are created equal

Health Canada offers a framework for the sale of edible cannabis products before the October 2019 launch. Will we be ready?

Not all cannabis candies are created equalYou think October 2018 was complicated, wait until edible cannabis products are legalized by October 2019. It’s just a matter of time before the edible market represents the majority of the cannabis market in Canada. A study released last year suggested that 93 per cent of consumers supporting Ottawa’s legalization plans would try a cannabis-infused food…

Hearing the stories of survivors of abuse with compassion

If we can be ‘enlightened witnesses’ and listen without judgment, we can help the healing process

Hearing the stories of survivors of abuse with compassionMuch of the study of genocide has focused on how it happens and what it looks like. This is important but perhaps we need to go further. What do people go through after these crimes have been committed? What happens to children? There are many amazing books written by survivors of genocide: Viktor Frankl’s Man’s…

Heal our own pain and the pain of others, and heal the world

Our efforts to stop crime and violence through aggression and punishment have never worked. Compassion works

Heal our own pain and the pain of others, and heal the worldIt’s no secret that there’s tremendous pain in the world. What we’re not often aware of is the source of this pain. Not knowing where it’s from, we give into fear and actually make the problem worse. Canadian physician Gabor Mate has devoted his career to understanding why people do terrible things to themselves and…

Truth and Reconciliation proposals on child welfare destined to fail

Government is called upon for yet more legislation and more money when the real problem is poor parenting

Five calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report concern child welfare. They are all destined to fail. The calls to action focus on increasing funding for Indigenous welfare, establishing national standards for the various agencies, keeping Indigenous children in culturally-relevant homes, and reducing the number of Indigenous children in the…

Blame the parents for suffering of children on the margins

Developmentally delayed children come into a failing welfare system due to irresponsible parents placing substance abuse ahead of their children

Blame the parents for suffering of children on the marginsMore than half of Winnipeg’s Indigenous homeless population are former wards of Child and Family Services (CFS). A former CFS ward explained on CBC recently that the 50 per cent figure was too low, not taking into account the significant number of former wards who “couch surf.” This group relies on the kindness of acquaintances…

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep price

No amount of funding plans or reorganization can solve this problem as long as alcohol and drug abuse persists in First Nations communities

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep priceWe want simple answers. But, sometimes, there aren’t any. Take Manitoba’s child welfare system, for example. We want to find a solution to a problem that has plagued us for generations: What to do about the huge numbers of Indigenous children taken into the care of child welfare agencies each year? Meetings are held in…

Increase in counterfeit drugs a danger to Canadians

As the trade in counterfeit drugs grows, so do the risks to Canadian patients and the costs to legitimate manufacturers

Increase in counterfeit drugs a danger to CanadiansThe threat of counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs is on the rise in Canada. From April 2016 to March 2017, Health Canada seized close to 5,500 packages of counterfeit drugs – mainly sexual enhancement drugs such as Viagra – on their way to patient hands. In a single week last year, Health Canada confiscated $2.5 million worth…