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Ontario’s Narcotic Strategy

Courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

In the past, you were able to get your prescription narcotic or other controlled substance medication without showing ID. That is changing.

Beginning November 1, you will be required to show acceptable ID to your doctor or dentist, and your pharmacist in order to get your prescription and have it filled.
Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy

What do I need to know?

What changes are being made on how I get my prescription?

In the past, you were able to get your prescription narcotic or other controlled substance medication without showing ID. That is changing.

Beginning November 1, you will be required to show acceptable ID to your doctor or dentist, and your pharmacist in order to get your prescription and have it filled.
What medications are included?

A number of prescription narcotics and other controlled substance medications are being monitored through the Narcotics Strategy.

Prescription narcotics are drugs commonly prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. A couple examples of common narcotic medications include:

* acetaminophen with codeine (Tylenol® 3) * oxycodone (OxyContin®)

Controlled substances are drugs listed under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. A few examples of controlled substance medications include:

* methylphenidate (Ritalin®) * benzodiazepines (Valium®) * barbiturates (Phenobarbital)

You can also speak with your doctor, dentist or pharmacist to see if any drugs you are currently taking are on the list.

What should I expect from my doctor or dentist?

Your doctor or dentist will ask you for an acceptable form of ID when you are being prescribed your medication. A unique number from your ID will be recorded on your prescription.

You may be required to present the same piece of ID to your pharmacist in order to receive your medication.

The information you provide will be recorded in the Narcotics Monitoring System, once implemented, to ensure proper prescribing and dispensing practices are being followed.

The Narcotics Monitoring System is currently under development, and is expected to be operational for Spring 2012.

Why do I need to show ID?

The abuse and misuse of prescription narcotics and other controlled substances is a serious public health and safety issue in Ontario. The monitoring of these medications through law exists to protect people from the harm that these drugs can do, while ensuring that the people who need them continue to do so.

The information on your ID will be recorded and monitored to help to ensure proper prescribing and dispensing practices are being followed.
What ID is acceptable?

There are a number of approved forms of identification you can use. Below are a few examples:

* Ontario Health Card or other health card issued by a Province or Territory in Canada * Valid Driver’s Licence or Temporary Driver’s Licence * Ontario Photo Card * Birth Certificate from a Canadian province or territory * Government-issued Employee Identification Card * Valid Passport – Canadian or other country * What if I’m picking up medication for someone else?*

Whether you’re picking up medication for a loved one, friend or neighbour, you will also be required to show your ID to the pharmacist. You must also ensure that the person you’re picking up the medication for has already provided valid identification for their prescription at the time the prescription is written.

The pharmacist will record your name and address and keep this information on file at the pharmacy.

What does the Ministry do with the information?

The information will be stored in the Narcotics Monitoring System once implemented. Information collected will be used to detect unusual or inappropriate behaviour, identify trends, enhance education initiatives and develop harm reduction strategies.

The Narcotics Monitoring System is currently under development and is expected to be fully operational early next year.

What is Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy?

The abuse and misuse of prescription narcotics and other controlled substance medications is a serious public health and safety issue in Ontario. A growing number of people are addicted to these drugs, using them outside their intended medical purposes, including unlawful activities and some dying as a result of this improper use.

To address these significant issues, Ontario has developed a strategy to educate health care professionals and the public on the proper prescribing and use of these medications.

Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy is promoting the proper use of prescription narcotics and other controlled substance medications while working to reduce drug abuse and addiction among Ontarians, while ensuring that people who need narcotics and other controlled substances for appropriate medical use will continue to have access to these medications.

A monitoring system is being developed to collect and store information on prescribing and dispensing activities for these medications. The information collected by the monitoring system will be used for improving prescribing and dispensing practices and stopping the use of prescription drugs for improper purposes.
For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am – 5:00pm
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/drugs/ons/needtoknow.aspx

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