Labelled an effort to fight the growing issue of opioid addiction here within the province of Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has announced that the provincial drug formulary (ODB) will no longer be covering high-dose long-acting opioids over 200mg MED (Morphine Equivalent Dose) as of January 2017.
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to appear on CBC Radio One's 'The Current' with Anna Tremonti for an episode discussing the rise in Methadone prescribing in Ontario, and whether it has gone too far. The segment, entitled "Methadone treatment overused in Ontario, addiction experts warn", was guest hosted by journalist Connie Walker, and featured guests Dr. David Marsh of the Northern Ontario School Of Medicine, Dr. Benedikt Fischer of the Centre For Addiction And Mental Health, as well as myself.
A pair of articles from the London Free Press has highlighted a disturbing 400% increase in heart valve infections since 2009 amongst intravenous Hydromorph Contin users in London, Ontario.
The Province of Ontario has become a leader in Canada when it comes to per-capita opioid prescribing and high-dose opioid dispensing, and along with it has earned 13 straight years of record setting opioid overdose fatalities. While it is far from the type of 'record' that Ontario should be proud of setting, it seems to sit relatively idle when it comes to taking action towards preventing the deadly issue of opioid overdose.
A group of drug strategy representatives from across the Province known as the Municipal Drug Strategy Co-ordinator’s Network of Ontario (MDSCNO) have taken up the tremendous task of releasing a detailed report on "key actions urgently needed to improve opioid safety and reduce accidental opioid overdose fatalities and injuries by expanding access to the emergency medicine naloxone." The summary report (released June 2015) entitled "Prescription For Life" calls upon the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada and all involved Agencies to take immediate action in order to help prevent accidental deaths and injuries due to opioid overdose.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
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