Not the one you might have seen on the late night talk show circuit but the one that has Canada’s Prisons Services routinely drugging 65% of women inmates and Ontario’s Long Term Care homes routinely drugging up to 70% of elders and seniors to subdue and restrain them.
A CBC report on a joint investigation with Canadian Press shows how Canadian prisons have become a “drug-infused world where inmates are routinely prescribed powerful drugs licensed to treat serious conditions but used in Canadian jails as a sleep aid”.
It seems far easier to give someone a prescription than, well, anything…
“Seroquel is known as ‘the sleeping pill’ in the prison system.
It seems far easier to give someone a prescription than help them address past trauma or help them find a better way to manage their time”
Two out of every three
Two out of every three women in Canadian Federal Prisons use psychotropic drugs.
This might be somebody’s version of “Peace, Order and…”
but its surely not “Good Government”.
Strombo, dear Strombo, the answer is “yes”.
Do Canadian Prisons And Nursing Homes Have A Prescription Drug Problem?
APRIL 15, 2014
(Photo: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
According to two major news reports released this week, Canadians in various institutions are being given powerful drugs they might not need.
A joint CBC News and Canadian Press investigation revealed that mood-altering drugs were being given to female inmates in Canadian prisons at an alarming rate, for purposes other than what the drugs are typically prescribed for — “raising concerns the drug was being used to ‘subdue’ or ‘sedate’ inmates.” Prescribing practices at Correctional Service Canada are now under review.
One of the major concerns of the investigation is a drug called quetiapine, or Seroquel as it’s more commonly known. The drug is prescribed for treating bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, but the investigation revealed it’s often handed out off-label (that is, for uses other than the drugs are approved for) as a sleep aid.
“That’s just bad medicine,” said Dr. David Juurlink, head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. “These are drugs that used even in the right indications, have side effects that can be lethal. [Quetiapine] is an anti-psychotic drug, and when it’s used indiscriminately it can kill people.”
A 2008 report by the University of Ottawa claimed that quetiapine was used wrongly in prisons for years. CBC News and the Canadian Press obtained an internal memo from Correctional Services Canada that shows the drug was given to inmates for unapproved purposes until at least 2011. And quetiamine is just one drug currently in question. The investigation also revealed that prescriptions of psychotropic drugs in general — that is, drugs that affect brain function and alter moods and behaviour — are increasing among female inmates. In 2013, 63 per cent of female prisoners were prescribed a psychotropic drug.
Correctional Services Canada responded to CBC News and the Canadian Press in a statement, saying: “As part of our ongoing process of quality improvement, medications provided by CSC are regularly reviewed and additional criteria are occasionally put in place. Effective June 2011, quetiapine was listed with limited use criteria to further ensure its safe use. CSC respects Health Canada’s standards when providing prescription medications to inmates.”
Watch the CBC News The National report here: