Following the discontinuation of Oxycontin in Canada, officials at Toronto Public Health say demand for referrals to methadone clinics in the city has tripled in the past week.
“Normally we would see maybe five or six people coming in in a week asking for methadone treatment, and now we’re seeing about three times that number,” said Dr. Rita Shahin, an associate medical officer of health. “It’s hard to know how much Oxycontin is still out there on the street and whether the demand for services will increase as more people are worried about going into withdrawal.”
Health officials are concerned that addicts will turn to other prescription painkillers, like the fentanyl patch, to assuage their addiction.
“Some drug users are actually scraping the medication off the patch,” Shahin said.