Safe supply: The debate around prescribing opioids to people who use drugs

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  1. K. Kilburn

    First of all, the last time I checked, about four years ago, there was not a single medical school in Ontario that had a mandatory core course in substance use and misuse, and related responses (prevention, harm reduction, treatment). Mandatory. Core.

    Given this long-lasting and unprofessional, unethical, failure, I would most strongly urge all physicians, regarding this issue, to consult with a sound research organization, such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, or the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at UVic, for information and advice.

    And second, it is critical for all physicians, once informed by one of the above institutions, and the federal Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, to actively lobby, within their own organizations, and with provincial and federal politicians and ministries, for reforms to legislation.

    People are dying. And they matter

    • Vera-D.

      In Canada you won’t be given painkillers either. They are reserved for addicts not people with chronic pain. We’ve already had a few patients “put down” here for pain, so not terminal. Patient A.B. in Ontario qualified for medical aid in dying because of osteoarthritis. The elder-care industry actually benefits as the less you can do for yourself, the more money to be made providing daily support tasks for you. If you lived in 1900 you could buy patent medicine with opiates in your situation and have a better quality of life.

      • roni

        1. My husband was prescribed a number of medications for his pain over the years. One was addictive, but he did not learn that until that was pointed out by a specialist, then he stopped taking it.

        2. Not all physicians are the same. There are such thing called ”addiction physicians”, and many physicians in community health centres and downtown Toronto make a point to update themselves and learn from their patients and community partners. UT mentioned in the article, specifically have research on drug use and this overdose crisis as well.

        Thank you for speaking out, and sharing your stories.

  2. Robert Casaletto

    In the US Doctors refuse to even write prescriptions for any opioids. If you are elderly and have any degree of pain, it is impossible to get a prescription for an opioid. I have Scoliosis and they won’t write them for me. Maybe I should move to Canada.

  3. Giulia Di Giorgio

    I love this article and these people. I’ve been waiting so long to see this happen and commend you for being as proactive and courageous as you are; I hope all primary care will recognize the benefits of a safe supply and Canada will be commended for being instrumental in dismantling the the old system of “treatment” that is too narrow and rigid and perpetuates the cycle that keeps ppl down.

  4. Ininiwiiskwew

    Prescribers face a catch 22 dilemma, but it’s something where lawyers have to become devils advocates in certain criminal situations.

  5. Kalie

    I am frustrated as a chronic pain patient who’s doctor has stopped prescribing hydromorphone-contin. I now take Suboxone that has caused an 8 month long headache and anxiety. Despite not addressing my original pain and adding a new pain my doctor is resolute. I’m happy that there’s a move for a safe supply for people dealing with addiction but there’s a lack of research and solutions or for the pendulum to swing back on opiates for chronic pain patients.

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