Articles on Overdose

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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.
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.
At present, surgeons vary widely in their approach to opioid prescription and some patients use opioids for prolonged periods post-surgery. (Shutterstock)

Surgeons and the opioid crisis: We need prescription guidelines

Surgeons are big prescribers of opioids. But while guidelines are in place for dentists and for doctors who prescribe opioid-based painkillers for long-term pain, there are none for surgeons.
Michelle Holley holds a photograph of her daughter Jaime Holley, 19, who died of a heroin overdose in November 2016. Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

The opioid epidemic in 6 charts

Your guide to a public health crisis that's likely to get worse.
A safe injecting facility is a priority for Melbourne, but more can be done Australia wide. Julian Smith/AAP

A medically supervised injection facility matters for Victoria – and for more inclusive mental health support

The parliamentary inquiry into establishing an injecting room in Victoria has failed to make any recommendations. This is despite finding drug use is at crisis levels in the area.
The latest evidence-based treatments for opioid addiction are often under-used, due to inadequate addiction education for doctors and nurses. (Shutterstock)

Better medical education: One solution to the opioid crisis

Most physicians are unaware of effective approaches to treat opioid addiction. Addiction medicine fellowships offer a new and effective way to save lives.
Look for a warning on the box before you attempt to crush or chew tablets, or cut capsules open. Erin/Flickr

Health Check: is it OK to chew or crush your medicine?

Some people are incapable of swallowing tablets because of physical or psychological reasons. What should they do when the doctor prescribes a drug that comes in tablet form?
Opioid addicts now being armed with overdose antidote. Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

Explainer: naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdose

Many first responders’ – even some university police officers – are carrying a new tool in their first-aid kits. It’s naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote drug, and today it’s more widely available than…
Barriers around bridges could save lives. rcgtrrz/Flickr

When it comes to suicide, how may be just as important as why

On April 15, 2014 a man jumped to his death from the O'Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge – a massive, new concrete arch that soars over the Hoover Dam. He was the eighth known person to do so since the…
There are some effective ways to balance the harms of opioids with its benefits. strollerdos/Flickr

Some ways to balance the benefits and harms of opioids

The use of opioid medication in Australia has grown considerably in the past 20 years, and so have related harms. This increase in use is primarily for chronic pain conditions, now the most common reason…

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