OTTAWA – Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa and Official Opposition Health Critic drew attention to the troubling mixed messages the Liberal government is delivering about drug use, as they move to restrict or remove Extra Strength Tylenol from the market, but show greater openness to changes that will make prescriptions of medical-grade heroin for addicts more readily available.
“Here we have a government that, on one hand, is saying Extra Strength Tylenol poses such a significant health risk to Canadians that it must be more heavily regulated, and on the other hand, is attempting to make medical grade heroin more available. It just doesn’t make sense to me,” stated Carrie.
Under the new proposals, products sold as “extra strength” 500 milligram tablets of acetaminophen, such as the popular pain reliever “Extra Strength Tylenol” would no longer readily be available to Canadians on store shelves. Representatives of arthritis associations fear that enacting these barriers will unnecessarily disrupt the pain management plans of those who have been using acetaminophen successfully. These barriers could result in patients switching to opioids, which have an increased risk of addictions-related issues. Canadians are already world leaders in opioid use. A recent Liberal government decision to abandon regulations aimed at making addictive opioids tamper-resistant will mean greater risk of that use increasing even further.
“The notion that restrictions surrounding medical-grade heroin should be relaxed for those suffering with an addiction, while restrictions are imposed on acetaminophen for those dealing with chronic pain, sends a very troubling mixed message,” said Carrie. “Unfortunately, these actions are not out of line with the direction this government is headed. They have already shown their support for increasing the number of ‘safe’ injections sites; they are rushing forward with their marijuana legalization plan; and now they propose making heroin more available. It’s time this government made the health and safety of Canadians a priority.”