The dramatic rise in prescription opioid use in the past two decades across Canada and the United States has been accompanied by increased rates of adverse events, including premature death and neonatal abstinence syndrome. In Ontario, policies and programs designed to address inappropriate prescribing have been implemented with varying degrees of success. Emerging issues that require ongoing attention include the introduction of abuse-deterrent formulations of opioids and generic versions of long-acting oxycodone. As issues related to opioid misuse, abuse and premature overdose death continue to evolve, it is clear that they can only be addressed by more cautious prescribing practices and the provision of support to those already suffering from addiction.
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Drug prescribing behaviour