For six months Health Minister Doug Currie promised action to the growing issue of addiction on Prince Edward Island. He repeatedly reassured Islanders delay was necessary to develop a comprehensive government response to an independent review of addiction services.
When the minister finally got around to stepping in front of microphones last week, government’s highly anticipated response to the MRSB report was anything but comprehensive. It is an under-whelming disappointment that will do little to improve, at least in the near term, how we treat opiate and alcohol addiction and mental health issues.
It is estimated that eight per cent of the population suffers from addiction. In a population of 140,000 this equates to more than 11,000 Islanders. It is estimated three per cent, or more than 4,000 Islanders, are addicted to opiates. It is a very serious problem that demands a very serious, and costly, investment.