In Canada, a drug known as dab is a generic term for a brand of painkiller commonly known as OxyContin.
It’s also a commonly used sedative drug and a potential precursor to heroin.
According to a new report, the use of dab by the Canadian opioid trade is growing.
It was estimated by Health Canada in November that about 20 per cent of prescriptions for opioids in Canada were for dab.
The report also found that the use by Canadian drug dealers of the generic opioid oxycodone increased by almost 50 per cent between 2014 and 2017.
According, the report’s author, Dr. Michael A. Brown, a senior research associate at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said that “a number of factors are likely contributing to the rise of the opioid use.”
Brown says that while Canada has been slow to ban the use and sale of opioids, it has taken a lot of steps to clamp down on the trade in prescription opioids.
“In the past, the pharmaceutical industry has been willing to do whatever it takes to protect their business interests and prevent other companies from becoming a threat to their livelihoods,” he said.
Brown said it’s a battle that he and others have been working on for years.
“The opioid industry has always had a strong and active lobby, and we’ve tried to engage it in a constructive manner,” he explained.
Brown’s research showed that while the pharmaceutical lobby has been able to keep the drug industry out of the Canadian medical system, there has been a decline in access to opioids since the pharmaceutical company Pfizer took control of the industry in 2002.
“That has been the case for decades,” he added.
Brown found that, since 2002, the opioid industry in Canada has grown by about 40 per cent, which was the largest increase in growth rate for any industry in the country.
He said that in a way, the industry has “been able to stay out of government control” in Canada.
“It’s very important for the industry to be part of the system, and they’re a part of it, but it’s not like we’re taking the industry’s hand, or we’re controlling them,” he continued.
Brown says there are also many different drug classes, and “the drug market has changed since 2002.”
He said the number of pain-management drugs that are legal to buy in Canada, including oxycodones, fentanyl and hydrocodone, have been growing.
“There are now two kinds of drugs, which are prescribed painkillers, and there are now more prescription painkillers,” he noted.
Brown noted that many drugs are “not prescribed to the patient for their pain, but are for the purpose of getting the drug into their system for use as a painkiller.”
Brown also found an increase in the amount of fentanyl being sold illegally.
“Since 2002, fentanyl has been more than doubling in price and is now more than 10 times more potent than morphine, according to a 2015 Canadian Drug Enforcement Agency (CDEA) report,” he wrote.
“Although fentanyl has become a significant threat to public health, it is not the only one.
Oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, hydrocortisone, and fentanyl hydrochloride have also been implicated.”
According to the report, “over the last decade, there have been significant increases in the number and potency of opioids available on the illicit market.”
Brown said that while it’s important to keep an eye on the industry, “it’s not our job to monitor the numbers.”
He added that if we could prevent people from taking fentanyl or oxycodONE for their own pain, “that would be a very good thing.”
He also said that it is important to note that some prescription opioids can also be used as a “substance abuse deterrent,” which has led to the development of the so-called “blue pill” of prescription opioids, which Brown says “is a product that has become more popular among the young people.”
He noted that prescription opioids are a “very potent painkiller” and “may be prescribed to people who are addicted to opioids or who have a history of substance abuse.”
Brown’s findings are similar to those of a recent report from the University of Toronto, which found that between 2012 and 2017, the number, type and volume of opioids prescribed in Canada increased by more than 50 per to 80 per cent.
The University of Ottawa recently released its own report, which concluded that the number in Canada for prescribed opioids was “increasing at an alarming rate.”
The report said that between 2015 and 2017 there was an increase of 7.8 per cent in the volume of prescription opioid prescriptions in Canada compared to the same time in the previous year.