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1 in 8 Canadian Teens Are Abusing Opiates

The opiate epidemic in the United States is very similar to what is going on around the world with the increase in prescription painkillers and heroin use. It's become a national issue here in the US and we need to really educate the public about how detrimental the problem is. What I hardly touch on is our neighbors up north, Canada. I say all the time how I speak to thousands of people a year. I would say about 30% of those people I speak with live in Canada. The issues with opiates they have up north may be just as bad if not worse than what is going on here in the states.

According to a study being conducted in the province of Ontario, alcohol consumption and marijuana use has reached all-time lows. This sounds like great news until we learn that opioid painkiller abuse continues to rapidly grow in Canada. The professional survey questioned over 10,000 middle and high school students about various drugs and alcohol use. What they discovered is that 1 in 8 youths reported taking a prescription opioid painkiller recreationally in the past year! The majority of them said they got the drugs from home, in their parents medicine cabinets.  This should be an eye opener to parents around the world.

The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey is Canada's longest running study of alcohol and other drug use by teens and one of the longest running surveys in the world. It includes youth in grades 7-12 in the Toronto metropolitan area and across Ontario. According to the survey, students in Toronto and western Ontario were more likely to abuse opioid prescription painkillers than the rest of the province.

Many professionals are questioning the rise in the statistics of opiate use. What is causing these dramatic numbers to climb? 1 in 8 teens should NOT be abusing prescription opioids in any country around the world. That number is alarming as it shows how dangerous it is to leave prescription medications in your medicine cabinets.  Prescription painkillers need to be treated like they are poison and if not used the correct way they will kill.

Canada needs to be much more proactive towards the growing epidemic in their country. They have millions of people addicted to opioid painkillers, but just like the United States, seem to sweep it under the rug. It's time for the children to be educated in schools about these drugs and the harm they are capable of. Prescription painkillers are the most dangerous drugs to our youth. Pills quickly lead to heroin use, and heroin leads to prison or death. If you are anyone you know is abusing opiates, please seek professional medical attention immediately.  It only takes one pill to kill.  


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