Alberta Liberal leader Dr. David Swann says we don’t have the data we need to adequately fight the growing opioid abuse issue in our province.
He sat on a panel discussing fentanyl at an open house Thursday, and the very next day RCMP announced the arrival of the more toxic opioid, carfentanil, in our province.
Swann tells the Alberta Morning News, we just don’t have the full picture of what’s going on.
“We don’t know what the characteristics of the people are, the ages, what’s the predominent ethnic background,” he explains. “Obviously, we’d treat young people, and some of them as young as grade 9, 10, and 11, differently from First Nations, or people from Ethiopia who are into this.”
Swann says these chemical drugs aren’t necessarily coming from a single source.
“It’s coming from everywhere,” he says. “It’s possible to develop the ingredients here, it’s possible to get the ingredients from your doctor, it’s possible to get, very cheaply, the drug, itself, from China.”
Swann says some cases of fentanyl abuse stem from prescriptions which aren’t safely monitored, while others come from young people not understanding the danger of the drugs they’re experimenting with. (scb)