Prescription drug abuse has received considerable attention in media reports in recent years. The purpose of this article is to describe the Canadian situation and context with regards to prescription drug abuse and the diversion of psychotropic prescription drugs into the illicit drug market, with a focus on the need for more data and interventions. Canada ranks within the top 10% of countries in the use of benzodiazepines, opioid prescriptions and stimulants. There are many ways that prescription drugs are diverted into the illicit market and varied reasons for use and abuse. Prescription drug abuse is further related to a number of negative consequences, including overdose. While seniors and women have been the primary focus for research in Canada on prescription drug abuse, adolescents and young adults have received less attention. Systematic epidemiological data specifically on prescription drug abuse in the Canada context are lacking and are needed in order to more clearly understand the reasons for the phenomenon and to develop and implement appropriate interventions.