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A man walks in a back alley in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, February 2019. More people fatally overdosed in British Columbia last year compared with 2017 despite efforts to combat the province’s public health emergency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The opioid crisis is not about pain

A policy response focused on reducing prescription opioids will not resolve North America's opioid crisis. And it is hurting many adults who live with otherwise unbearable chronic pain.
Few medical schools offer training in addictions medicine and most doctors feel they lack the specialist expertise to deal with the inpatient opioid crisis. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

How the opioid crisis is disrupting hospital care

Canadian hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with the inpatient opioid crisis. Lack of specialist addictions care puts patients and staff at risk.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams demonstrates the proper procedure for administering a nasal injection of naloxone on reporter Jennifer Lott, left, during a visit to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., May 17, 2018. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Naloxone remains controversial to some, but here’s why it shouldn’t be

One study argues that naloxone increases opioid use because it protects against death from overdose. But a closer analysis shows Narcan is the number one public health tool to fight the overdose epidemic.
A woman holds a photo of her best friend, who died of a drug overdose in January 2017, before a march to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

How to stop overdoses? Prevent them to begin with

Catastrophic increases in opioid overdose deaths across Canada require a broad response -- tackling housing, food and income insecurity as well as the contaminated drug supply.
There is growing evidence for the use of cannabis in treating opioid addiction. (Shutterstock)

Legal weed: An accidental solution to the opioid crisis?

As Canada moves towards legalization of cannabis in 2018, there is growing evidence of the drug's potential to treat opioid addiction itself, as well as the chronic pain that often drives it.
A medical cannabis grower. Shivanshu Pandev/flickr

Study: cannabis may reduce crack use

Scientists have never found a medicine to help crack users who want to decrease their consumption. Canadian researchers think cannabis might be the answer.

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