According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the Canadian Province of Manitoba is implementing legislation that restricts the prescribing of OxyContin to cancer patients or those who are not eligible for a substitute drug.
Of course, the new restrictions come as a result of the rampant phenomenon of opiate addiction that has plagued North America in recent years. The Manitoba health care system cannot handle the surge in addicted patients requiring methadone treatment and the instances of heroin overdose are rising.
The reality of addiction to narcotic medications is that people who have become physically and mentally dependent on a drug like OxyContin will more likely seek out an alternative drug (like illicit heroin) than treatment. Still, the legislation that reduces OxyContin prescriptions will undoubtedly cause a reduction in opiate addiction and overdose in the long run.