Medication use

The committee of experts did not select any standardized measurement instruments. However, there are questions drawn from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) that measure certain aspects of medication use. The “Medication use” module from the CCHS comprises 23 items and was used for the first time in the 2015 CCHS. It measures intake over the previous 12 months of opioids, stimulants and sedatives. In addition to measuring the frequency of consumption, it reveals whether medications were consumed more frequently or in greater quantities than should have been the case, if they were consumed solely for the experience of doing so or to get high or if they were taken for other reasons (Statistics Canada, 2018) (Questionnaire 22). These data are not available from the Infocentre de santé publique.

The “Medication use” module in the 2012 CCHS – Mental Health broaches the problems related to emotions, mental health or alcohol or drug use. This module specifically targets medications related to mental health problems. The first two questions measure consumption over the previous 12 months and during the previous two days, while the subsequent section obtains the Drug Identification Number (DIN) (Questionnaire 22).

Another way to measure medication use is to directly ask the respondent if his medication use increased, decreased or remained stable after the disaster (see Questionnaire 21 for formulations respecting alcohol and drug use). Other sample formulations are available in Questionnaire 22.