EXPERTS CALL FOR NATIONAL OPIOD STRATEGY TO CURB OVERDOSE DEATHS
Nov 07, 2016
By Bob Komsic
Canadian doctors want something done to reduce the toll of opiod overuse and abuse.
Experts say use of prescription opiods has risen steadily the past 20 years amid skyrocketing misue, disorders and death.
Writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. Benedikt Fischer of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto says Canadians are the second-highest consumer of opiods worldwide after the U.S.
He’s among those calling for a strategy that includes developing guidelines for prescribing opioids only in exceptional cases and strictly in limited dosages and for a short time.
Fischer and others are also calling for real-time electronic prescription monitoring systems that doctors and pharmacists would have to consult before prescribing or dispensing the addictive drugs.
Experts say an estimated 2,000 Cnadians died from such overdoses last year and many provinces are ”on track” for a record number of deaths this year.
Fischer adds an estimated 10,000 – 20,000 Canadians have died from overdosing on prescription drugs like oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone in the last 10 years.