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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Public Health quickies - Tuberculosis, Oxycodone restrictions, Crime and mental health, CIDA

Many Canadian families are on school break, preparing for or enjoying Easter, Passover or just a long weekend ahead.  Stay safe and healthy, and enjoy the opportunity to be connected with friends and families – it is an investment in your own personal health.

March 24th was World Tuberculosis Day.   A remembrance of a disease that too often is forgotten, but affects over 12 Million persons currently.  Disconcerting is the 5% of these individuals with a multiple drug resistant strain of the disease.

This week has seen several articles on the implications of the near nation-wide cold turkey cessation of Oxycodone (OxyContin).  What have we seen, heroin use appears to be up.   Anecdotally, overdoses concurrently seem to increasing although the numbers are not available yet.  Almost a year later, several of the key addictions agencies in the country are proposing a plan entitled “First Do No Harm” which presumably once released will be posted to Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

These are NGOs perspectives, and the Harper government just tightening the mandatory sentencing screws to persons convicted of crimes despite mental illness.  Contrast this with the excellent CBC Calgary expose on Mental Health and Crime CBC Calgary on mental health   

And, buried in the budget is the loss of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).   While a colourful history, CIDA was a cornerstone of Canadian international policy – a further sign of current government retraction from issues other than what benefit themselves Life and death of CIDA  

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