Ontario, like the rest of the country, doesn’t seem to have an immediate resolution for the ongoing opioid crisis. Nearly 4000 opioid related deaths were reported in Canada last year alone.
In Ontario, there was 1053 opioid related deaths between January to October of 2017. This is a drastic jump from the 694 between January to October of 2016. In the wake of this epidemic, the Ontario government has now promised over 200 million dollars in investment towards combatting crisis.
In its own attempt to stop the crisis, London has seen a dramatic increase in the number of methadone clinics in the city. However, many seem to be upset with the number of clinics the city has to offer, and what areas they’re opening in. In fact, a notion was set in London where new clinics aren’t permitted within 300 meters of schools, pools, arenas and libraries, however the new rules don’t apply to clinics serving less than 40 patients.
Dr Martyn Judson from Clinic 528 on Dundas spoke to us about opioid addiction, methadone, and what the city is doing to prevent further issues
“Methadone is an opioid. It has a chemical structure very similar to heroin, morphine and codeine. And the reason methadone is used so often is because we deal it for replacement therapy. It is a drug that helps addicts recover from worse drugs and slowly work their way into sobriety.”
Moreover, Dr. Judson says that more clinics opening up isn’t a bad thing.
“The danger of having too many clinics is that some places give patients what they want, and not what they need. People have to understand that addiction is a disease, and therefore patients have a right to treatment. Most people that reject the clinics do it because of their own bias and prejudice.”
It’s safe to say that the clinic industry for methadone is expected to keep growing, only because we are not responding to its demand quick enough. Many hope the 222 million dollar budget will include offering more health services, such as the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site on 186 King Street, which has already saved several lives.
The quicker we help these people and supply them with the services they need, the less people we will have facing addiction.