Valproic acid was first synthesized in 1882 by Beverly S. Burton as an analogue of valeric acid , found naturally in valerian .  Valproic acid is a carboxylic acid , a clear liquid at room temperature. For many decades, its only use was in laboratories as a "metabolically inert" solvent for organic compounds. In 1962, the French researcher Pierre Eymard serendipitously discovered the anticonvulsant properties of valproic acid while using it as a vehicle for a number of other compounds that were being screened for antiseizure activity. He found it prevented pentylenetetrazol -induced convulsions in laboratory rats .  It was approved as an antiepileptic drug in 1967 in France and has become the most widely prescribed antiepileptic drug worldwide.  Valproic acid has also been used for migraine prophylaxis and bipolar disorder. 
Much of the legislative activity has stemmed from Purdue Pharma’s decision in 2011 to begin a modification of Oxycontin’s composition to make it more difficult to crush for snorting or injecting. The new formulation, OxyNeo, is intended to be preventative in this regard and retain its effectiveness as a painkiller. Since introducing its Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act , Ontario has committed to focusing on drug addiction, particularly in the monitoring and identification of problem opioid prescriptions, as well as the education of patients, doctors, and pharmacists.  This Act, introduced in 2010, commits to the establishment of a unified database to fulfil this intention.  Both the public and medical community have received the legislation positively, though concerns about the ramifications of legal changes have been expressed. Because laws are largely provincially regulated, many speculate a national strategy is needed to prevent smuggling across provincial borders from jurisdictions with looser restrictions.