Canada’s prescription opioid crisis

There is a prescription opioid crisis in Canada. While these drugs are effective in treating acute pain, and pain near the end of life, the evidence to support long-term use in patients with chronic pain is weak, and for many people the harms exceed the benefits. Prescription opioids are also highly addictive and easily misused.

Addiction is not a disease of society’s margins

Addiction Oxycontin prescription painkiller oxycodone

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and its National Advisory Council on Drug Misuse recently released a national strategy: “First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis.” The plan, which focuses on education, treatment, and multiple levels of prevention, could not have come sooner. National leadership on this issue is desperately needed.

Pain control after major surgery: the patient as expert

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook healthydebate.ca

The Personal Health Navigator is available to all Canadian patients. Questions about your doctor, hospital or how to navigate the health care system can be sent to AskLisa@Sunnybrook.ca The Question: After hip replacement surgery, I was placed on tramadol for pain. It worked moderately well, although in retrospect, I would have probably done better with something

The missing link in overdose prevention

Kathy Hardill healthydebate blogger

Long-established medical practice supports prescribing pre-loaded syringes of epinephrine to people having severe, life-threatening allergic reactions to allergens such as bee stings, nuts and shellfish. Patients, including children, are taught how to use them and carry them with them at all times in order to administer the drug without delay when they have a reaction.

Undoing the damage of OxyContin

Irfan Dhalla blog healthydebate.ca editor

Monday’s announcement by federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq that she will not interfere with the approval of generic OxyContin is just the latest development in what has become a major public health crisis. In Canada, overdose deaths involving prescription medications now vastly outnumber deaths from HIV. By some estimates, prescription drug overdoses have killed 100,000

OxyNEO: pain relief or advertising addiction?

Shelagh McRae www.healthydebate.ca blogger

The patent on OxyContin has run out, the expected profit gone. Is it a coincidence that Purdue has stopped making it and replaced it with the new and improved OxyNEO? If Purdue can get Canadian doctors to prescribe it, their profits will continue. In a recent edition of the Medical Post, an industry-funded newspaper which goes

Why has Ontario introduced a new narcotics strategy?

Why has Ontario introduced a new narcotics strategy?

Deaths from prescription opioids have increased in Ontario over the past two decades as opioids have become more commonly used to treat pain. The Ontario government has introduced legislation to better monitor opioid prescriptions and to educate doctors and the public about the danger of opioids. The only unusual thing about the death of Heath Ledger,