Jul 07, 2014

By Scott Walker

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The federal government plans to make it more difficult to abuse painkillers such as codeine and Oxycontin.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose says Ottawa will force drug makers to make their opioids crush-proof, to prevent them from being used for a quick “high.”

The decision comes as a new report from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto has found that opioid overdoses killed nearly 6,000 people in Ontario between 1991 and 2010.

Tara Gomes is the lead researcher in the study. She says people who have prescriptions for opioids need to keep them guarded and safe from unauthorized use.

Gomes says the number of opioid-related deaths increased 242 percent from 1991 to 2010.

She adds the findings show there is a mistaken perception about the safety of powerful prescription painkillers.

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