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Knowledge Exchange > Health Policy and Systems > Policy eUpdate > Posts > Articles and Opinion — March 12, 2012
Articles and Opinion — March 12, 2012
  • "A war on brain illness should be declared.” 
    Globe and Mail editorial (March 11, 2012)
    “A disorder in the brain affects not only the body but can rob a person’s sense of identity. There are so many afflictions – autism, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia – it’s no wonder some experts are calling for a “War on Brain Illness” the way Richard Nixon called for a War on Cancer.”
  • "Society has a right to lock up the dangerously mentally ill."
    Matt Gurney, National Post (March 7, 2012).
    “…Two escapes in two months is alarming, especially given May’s history of unprovoked and sudden acts of violence against women. His situation is tragic, but clearly, society must be protected from his illness. If May is able to get treatment, and find peace and stability, that will be something all should celebrate, and his status should be reconsidered in light of those hypothetical new circumstances. If not, or until then, segregation is the only alternative.”
  • "A Study of How People with Mental Illness Perceive and Interact with the Police.” (PDF)
    Mental Health Commission of Canada (November 2011)
    “The perceptions that the police and people with mental illness have of one another can influence the nature and quality of their interactions. Though a considerable body of research exists concerning the perceptions of police officers towards people with mental illness, there is a dearth of research focusing specifically on the perceptions that people with mental illness hold toward the police. The research described within this report is focused on addressing this knowledge gap.”"Chronic pain patients collateral damage of drug-abuse policy."
    André Picard, Globe and Mail (March 5, 2012).
    “OxyContin, a powerful painkiller, disappeared from Canada on March 1. It was replaced by OxyNEO, a chemically identical, but tamper-resistant version. The anger, confusion and physical pain that has resulted from this seemingly benign upgrade speaks volumes about what’s wrong with our approach to drugs in this country. We pay far too little attention to the effectiveness of medications used for legitimate purposes like pain control. At the same time, we fret incessantly about drug abuse while doing virtually nothing to prevent or treat addiction. Worse yet, we behave as if these challenges are somehow unrelated when, in fact, they are intricately linked.”
  • "Supervised injection clinics for drug addicts make neighbourhoods safer."
    Globe and Mail editorial (March 5, 2012).
    “When natural concern for neighbourhood safety and cleanliness turns into irrational pronouncements and wild fears, the record needs to be set straight. Montreal’s public-health department wants to set up three supervised-injection facilities. One would be in a community health clinic called Cactus Montréal, which already provides clean needles to addicts in the downtown area. But a coalition of downtown residents, opposing the addition of supervised injections, says it’s “worried about the honey pot effect. People will come from Boston and Vancouver and say, ‘Hey, let’s go for a trip and shoot up.’” This idea of addicts being drawn to distant supervised-injection clinics is pure fantasy. This fantasy prevents people from seeing that the clinics actually contribute to the safety and cleanliness of their neighbourhoods, rather than making matters worse.”
  • "OxyContin ban a mixed blessing."
    Joe Fiorito, Toronto Star (March 9, 2012).
    “When I had my knee reamed out, there was some post-op trouble. I have considerable tolerance for pain — provided it is slow and steady, rather than sudden and sharp — but this was ridiculous. So they gave me the big-league Tylenol, which might as well have been jellybeans, and then I got Percocets, which were as useful as lemon drops to me. I am a Dilaudid man. Who knew? The point of the homily: the chemistry of the body is a marvel, all of us are different, and what works for you might not work for me, whereas that which mucks me up might be perfectly fine for you.”