The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services:
Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House to advise that this government has completed all of the initiatives outlined in its Opioid Action Plan, and that despite this accomplishment, we will continue to work with our partners to address addictions. It was also my pleasure to share this information with delegates attending a provincial opioid dependence treatment conference today, here in St. John’s.
To date Mr. Speaker, we have developed a safe prescribing course for physicians, implemented a provincial pharmacy network and a prescription-drug monitoring program. We have developed a provincial opioid awareness and education program. We provide coverage for Suboxone with the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program, and have distributed over 3,000 Naloxone kits.
Throughout this process, we have had tremendous success working with communities such as Bell Island, to offer opioid dependency treatment services. We are continuing to build on community-based services and supports throughout the province, so people can receive the care they need and live in recovery, closer to home.
We know people living with opioid dependency are experiencing great pain, and so are their families and our communities. We can no longer treat this problem in a piecemeal fashion. We need to ensure a harm reduction and person-centered approach is the foundation to all these services.
Stigma cannot get in the way of effective treatment Mr. Speaker, or access to programs and services, and our collective efforts to address this devastating disease.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.