A team led by Dr. Benedikt Fischer, a researcher funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and based at the Centre for Addictions Research (CARBC) at the University of Victoria, published its findings in the November 21, 2006 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Opioids are commonly prescribed as pain-killers (analgesics). Prescription opioids that are commonly prescribed in Canada include Oxycontin, morphine, Demerol, Percodan and Tylenol 3 or 4.
"Our study suggests that heroin use has become an increasingly marginal form of drug use among illicit opioid users in Canada, especially outside Vancouver and Montreal," says Dr. Fischer.
Heroin use was substantially prevalent only in Vancouver and Montreal. It was de facto absent in smaller cities like Edmonton, Quebec City or Fredericton. And, in all study sites, there was a significant decline of heroin use among participants between 2001 and 2005.
Dr. Fischer also highlights that in a large number of cases prescription opioids used by street drug users originate from the medical system and not from illicit production and distribution.
The secondary and reduced relevance of heroin compared to prescription opioids among illicit opioid users has implications for drug control policy and treatment programs, which primarily focus on heroin abuse and dependence.
"Our drug control policies ought to be targeting prescription opioid abuse more effectively," says Dr. Fischer. "But we also need to ensure we do not compromise legitimate access to and uses of prescription opioids."
Dr. Rémi Quirion, based in Montreal and Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction says, "although there have been reports on the increased levels of prescription opioid abuse in Canada and other jurisdictions, there has until now not been a systematic documentation of usage patterns among street drug users."
"This study, conducted by Dr. Fischer and his team provides us with the scientific evidence needed to improve public policy and treatment programs. Such research is key to ultimately improving the health of Canadians," adds. Dr. Quirion.
Jasmine Sharma | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences