15 28TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE Congratulations once again to the PEI Police Association for continuing their good work in the community in producing their 28th Annual Crime Prevention Guide. The theme selected for this year’s guide is ‘Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness’ which has become a prevalent discussion piece lately. By definition, prescription drug abuse can be defined as the non-therapeutic use of prescription drugs. This practice includes the use of prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, and the secondary negative effects of prescription drug use. In identifying the scope of the problem, there is evidence to suggest that this is a growing problem in Canada. Canadians are now the world’s second-largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids behind Americans. Canada is facing an urgent challenge to reduce the harms associated with prescription drug abuse while ensuring people have timely and appropriate access to them for therapeutic reasons. These products include opioids, stimulants, and sedatives. Currently, Canadians are experiencing a surge of harms associated with opioids. In recent years, Health Canada provided funding for a 5-year campaign to raise awareness in regards to harms and the importance of proper monitoring, storing and disposing of prescription drugs. The problematic prescription drug use campaign informed parents of youth aged 13 to 15 about the rising problem of prescription drug use and its associated risks among teenagers. Health Canada is continuing to develop and refine marketing tactics and activities, and will focus and address emerging issues, such as opioid usage. Opioids, including fentanyl and oxycontin, have been prescribed for pain caused by injury, cancer or a chronic condition. It is common for patients to become tolerant of the drugs, and nearly all patients become physically dependent after daily use for more than several weeks, according to medical association reports. The proposed standards would require doctors to prescribe the lowest effective dose to patients who require long-term opioid treatment for chronic pain other than cancer. Physicians need to discuss medication decisions with patients including potential serious side effects, other treatment options and the probability of the drug improving their health. Recently, a representative of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police indicated that prescription drug abuse is leading to an increase in pharmaceutical-related crime, including pharmacy robberies, breaking and entering, trafficking, double-doctoring, and thefts committed to fuel the financial needs of persons seeking drugs. In conclusion, the issue of prescription drug abuse will not go away any time soon, but we must make the public aware that this issue is on the rise in Canada, and citizens should be reporting any incidents where they feel that there is an abuse of the system we have in place in Canada. It has been noted that the stories of individuals are all too common and that prescription drug misuse affects everyone, every community, every demographic. J. David Poirier Chief of Police Summerside Police Services MESSAGE FROM SUMMERSIDE’S CHIEF OF POLICE