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LETTER: Drug, alcohol abuse exacerbating overcrowding at Southlake emergency

Tax revenues generated from the sale of recreational cannabis should be used to build treatment centres , letter writer says
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USED2018-09-01 Southlake landscape view KC
Southlake Regional Health Centre. File photo/NewmarketToday

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There has been a long-standing problem of wait times, causing overcrowding in Southlake Regional Health Centre's emergency department.

On two occasions, my wife spent upwards of two days, each time, in emerg with a "bleed" situation before she was released to a ward for treatment to begin. On one occasion, she was admitted for several days, during which time she received seven units of blood to make up for what she had lost while waiting to be admitted.

The delay in emerg was due to the fact there were a number of drug and alcohol-related situations that were being fast tracked ahead of patients with "non self- inflicted" conditions.
 
I have a solution. It is pretty common knowledge that the recent legalization of recreational cannabis by the federal Liberal government had in mind the huge tax revenue that would result. My suggestion would be to take, say 30 per cent off the top of such tax revenue and put it to use building "stand-alone" treatment centres to handle all alcohol and drug abuse emergencies in those facilities, thus freeing up staff and facilities in hospital emergency departments to deal with real emergencies.
 
With the legalization of recreational drugs and continued overindulgence of alcohol (creating self-inflicted conditions needing medical attention), I can see these situations increasing exponentially and creating more overcrowding  in hospital emergency departments.
 
To some, this solution may seem overly simplistic, but it is certainly worth investigating.
 
Glen Langford, Newmarket



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