New warning stickers will be mandatory on opioids prescribed in Canada starting this October. (Black Press files)

Health Canada to require warning stickers on all opioid prescriptions

More than 1,400 people died of opioid-related overdoses in B.C. in 2017

Opioids dispensed in Canada will soon have to carry stickers that warning the drugs can cause dependence, addiction and overdoses.

The new rules announced by Health Canada Wednesday come as multiple provinces face an ever-escalating overdose crisis related to illicit drug use.

In B.C. alone, more than 1,400 people died of a drug overdose last year. About 225 people have died from the same reason so far this year.

The stickers will come with a handout that explains how to spot symptoms of an opioid overdose, as well as warnings to not share the drugs and to store them out of reach of children.

Health Canada said this is the first time it’s requiring any medication to come with warning labels and patient handouts.

READ: Treat opioid addiction as a chronic disease, says B.C. addictions expert

The rules are also the first application of Vanessa’s Law, or the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act, which was passed after the 15-year-old daughter of Ontario MP Terence Young died in 2000 while taking a prescription drug for a stomach ailment. That drug was later deemed unsafe and pulled from the market.

Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said despite the crisis, legalizing or decriminalizing opioids is off the table.

“By decriminalizing drugs, we’re certainly not going to fix the problem that’s on the streets right now,” she said.

The new labelling rules will come into effect in October.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue kept busy across the province

CVGSAR had a busy week, sending rescuers as far away as Invermere

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read