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Thread: Canada - Study: prescription opioids not a significant driver of B.C. overdose crisis

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    Canada - Study: prescription opioids not a significant driver of B.C. overdose crisis 
    #1
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    Study finds prescription opioids not a significant driver of B.C. overdose crisis
    Andrea Woo
    The Globe and Mail
    October 2nd, 2018

    The overprescribing of opioid medication, implicated in several North American jurisdictions for fuelling an overdose crisis that has decimated communities and killed thousands, does not appear to be a significant factor in British Columbia.

    The preliminary findings by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) come as the B.C. government prepares a lawsuit seeking compensation from pharmaceutical companies for the harm that opioids have done. But while prescribing practices have come under fire across Canada and in the United States, it does not appear to be a driver of the overdose crisis that has killed about 4,000 people in the province since the beginning of 2015.

    The BCCDC, which has analyzed prescription-drug usage among people who overdosed in recent years, is expected to release its findings in coming months. That follows a report by the BC Coroners Service released last week, which found that, among other things, nearly half (45 per cent) of the people whose deaths were studied had sought help for physical pain in the year preceding their deaths.

    For its analysis, the BCCDC reviewed the prescription-drug patterns of use among people who had both fatally and non-fatally overdosed through 2015 and most of 2016, focusing specifically on recent prescription-drug initiation, recent discontinuation and active tapering of opioids prior to overdose.

    "Early findings suggest that all three types of prescription opioid for pain use are relatively rare among individuals who overdosed, and do not appear to be important drivers of the overall drug overdose risk in the B.C. population," reads a summary of the study.
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    #2
    Wow, very interesting article.

    It's so ridiculous that here in the states especially the government is trying to regulate this when they know nothing about pain. Of course they're are just going too follow the money trail.

    It's so stupid because no matter what, there is going to be street drugs smuggled in, and or made at home so this "opioid epidemic" really is pointless, and all it's doing is hurting people with actual painful diagnoses such as myself and so many other people.

    They should just decriminalize addicts instead of pouring tons of money into law enforcement throwing non offensive offenders in jail. Open more rehab and treatment places that aren't ridiculously expensive so if and when you are ready too get help you can just walk on in.

    Thanks for sharing, and let's hope things turn around real soon.
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    #3
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    It's all fentanyl.

    If the concern is people dying legalizing opiates (to a degree) is the answer.
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    #4
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    A really interesting fact from this article is that British Columbia, which has the worst problem with drug poisoning deaths in Canada, also has the second-lowest rate of opioid prescribing. Doesn't quite fit the mainstream narrative, does it? I'm glad the B.C. doctors have realized that taking away people's pain meds is making this situation worse, not better.
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