Opioid use crisis shows urgent need for pain treatment options

Our response to the crisis must be broadened to address the aspects of our health-care system that contribute to the increasing demand for opioids

Opioid use crisis shows urgent need for pain treatment optionsBy Kate Smolina and Kim Rutherford University of British Columbia The tragic spike in opioid-related deaths has brought the large and complex issue of drug use and misuse into sharp focus. As fentanyl-related overdoses grip the country, there is a connected but separate crisis of doctor-prescribed opioids being increasingly used on a regular, long-term basis.  While prescription…

Spark ’em up, but with our eyes wide open

As we move inexorably toward legalizing marijuana, it's vital for the federal task force to put science ahead of politics

Spark ’em up, but with our eyes wide openThe legalization of pot by mid-2017 will certainly come as a relief to police agencies that have been torn between enforcing the law and resisting the public will. It will also embark Canada on a massive science experiment. The medical and scientific communities have been telling us that they quite simply don't fully understand what…

Opioid crisis should be top of federal health agenda

Crisis calls for strong federal leadership, education of clinicians, and non-pharmaceutical pain management alternatives for patients

Opioid crisis should be top of federal health agendaHundreds of codeine tablets stolen from the medicine cabinet of an elderly person living alone in a rural community. Hydromorphone tablets being distributed at weddings and high school parties. Fentanyl patches being cut up and sold for a profit on the street. This is the reality of the opioid crisis in Canada today – these…

Facing some unpleasant truths about opioids

Despite the best of intentions, doctors flood homes with opioids purer and stronger than heroin, destroying countless lives in the process

Facing some unpleasant truths about opioidsOver the past year I’ve lost track of how many times the opioid epidemic has, in one incarnation or another (Prince, naloxone, fentanyl, newborns in agonizing withdrawal and so on) found its way onto the front page news. What distinguishes this epidemic is not only its catastrophic toll --hundreds of thousands dead, uncountable millions harmed…

Let’s halt the killer fentanyl tide

Unless Canadians start to pay attention, there could be a wave of fentanyl deaths washing across the country

Let’s halt the killer fentanyl tideIn my stepson’s circle of friends, Jordan was the gentle giant. Six feet-plus and probably 300 pounds, he was famed for his willingness to defend his friends and his ability to down beers in massive quantities. Neither his might nor his popularity, however, could protect him from a menace that is tearing a deep and…

The cost of government debt addiction in Canada

Interest payments on the debt leave less money to spend on health care, education and social services

The cost of government debt addiction in CanadaBy Charles Lammam Ben Eisen and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute As a new year begins and Canadian governments prepare their budgets, it’s a good time to reflect on the state of government indebtedness in the country. Unfortunately, it’s not a pretty picture. Governments have amassed considerable new debt over the past eight years, with…

Alcohol use in pregnancy part of a complex set of issues

Expecting quick fixes for reducing alcohol use in pregnancy is unrealistic

Alcohol use in pregnancy part of a complex set of issuesIn my work as a neonatologist, I’ve looked after many babies. I’ve seen parents of all ages, cultures and circumstances. But I’ve never seen a mother who wanted to harm her growing baby. Yet too often I still see mothers who use alcohol during pregnancy despite extensive educational campaigns about its harmful effects on the fetus.…
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