Turning the tide on the harm of opioids

Doctors must discuss pain management options with patients and not jump to the prescription pad for a quick fix

Turning the tide on the harm of opioidsBy Dr. Wendy Levinson University of Toronto and Dr. Laurent Marcoux As clinicians, we’re bound by professionalism and our ethical responsibilities to do no harm, and to do what we can to address the pain and suffering of our patients. When powerful pain-relieving opioid medications were introduced a few decades ago, they seemed to be…

We must fight crime at its social roots

The rash of liquor store robberies in Winnipeg says more about underlying social problems than it does about the effectiveness of police

We must fight crime at its social rootsWinnipeg has experienced a rash of liquor store swarmings involving masked individuals who have become increasingly accustomed to little or no resistance. The best deterrent to crime is not the severity of sentence or punishment, but the certainty of detection and apprehension. An even better and common-sense response would be to mitigate the underlying precursors…

Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by business

Not only does work help financially but it empowers people to take control of their lives and rise above poverty

Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by businessHomelessness is increasingly a problem in cities big and small across North America. Yet as business leaders we tend think the issue isn’t our problem – unless, of course, we have a business affected by a homeless camp, squatters in our doorsteps or addicts in our alleyways. We can’t comprehend why people aren’t working like…

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social roots

The answer to addiction will not be found in the industries of incarceration and prescription

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social rootsOn Oct. 21, pharmaceutical opioid distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, and drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to a US$260-million settlement just hours before opening arguments were scheduled to begin in the first opioid-era federal lawsuit in Ohio. This is the first of hundreds of similar lawsuits filed by cities, counties, Native American tribes…

The high cost of pathological gambling

Are the profits from government sponsored gambling worth the cost in human lives, broken relationships and misery?

The high cost of pathological gamblingSince the early 1990s permanent casinos have been springing up in communities all across Canada. Our government has relaxed its views on gambling and made it much more accessible to adults everywhere. In more recent years this has expanded to include government-run online gambling portals as well. With this increase in availability has come an…

Let’s make ‘vapin’ in the boys room’ a thing of the past

Young people are getting hooked on vaping, despite the many unknowns. We need to develop effective counter programs before it's too late

Let’s make ‘vapin’ in the boys room’ a thing of the pastIn 1973, the band Brownsville Station released the song Smokin’ in the Boys Room. At the time, nearly half of Canadian adults and teens smoked. Reports had been coming out for years about the dangers of tobacco use but smoking was still seen as a cool thing to do. Over the next several decades, the…

How to put your inner workaholic to rest

National Workaholics Day is no reason for celebration. By working smarter, you could work less – and have more time for family, friends and fun.

How to put your inner workaholic to restJuly 5 is National Workaholics Day. But is this something we should really be celebrating? According to Forbes, the average Frenchman works 18 hours a week; the average Italian about 16.5 and the British work 21.5. But in North America, our idea of full employment is a standard 40-hour week. And in some locales, that…

Constraining pain medication will only worsen drug problem

Limiting access to alcohol led to chaos during the Prohibition. Will constraining opioids do the same?

Constraining pain medication will only worsen drug problemThere are so many reasons to be very glad that we live in Canada – one of the main is that we’re governed by the rule of law. Laws and the rules and regulations that underpin them are enacted by democratically-elected governments. They’re enforced and upheld by police and courts that are amazingly upright and…

Lack of vaping product marketing regulations endangers kids

Vaping comes with serious health risks, just like other tobacco products, but the Ontario government doesn't seem to care

Lack of vaping product marketing regulations endangers kidsAs a clinician and researcher in the field of tobacco control, what I see happening with vaping marketing and promotion is déjà vu of the very worst kind. It’s pervasive and insidious. And in Ontario, we’re failing our youth by permitting it. Over the last 30 years, we have fought many policy battles with the…

Opioids are killing Canadians in the thousands

Abstinence-based treatment is ineffective. We need to invest heavily in harm reduction strategies

Opioids are killing Canadians in the thousandsBy Sen. Jane Cordy and Sen. Raymonde Gagné “I wasn’t born to be a drug addict,” said a brave member of the audience at our recent open caucus meeting in the Senate on the Opioid Crisis in Canada. He told us of his struggle with drug addiction over two decades. His closing words hung in…