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The Family Medicine Forum, Nov. 9, 2017, the Palais des congrès de Montréal. (Twitter/@FamilyMedForum)

Family doctors are overdosing on industry sponsorship

This week's annual Family Medicine Forum is an opportunity for your family doctor -- to cave or resist in the face of Big Pharma sponsorship and marketing.
A employee holds pre-rolled joints at Buddha Barn Craft Cannabis in Vancouver, Oct. 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Now that cannabis is legal, let’s use it to tackle the opioid crisis

Cannabis legalization in Canada is a public health strategy. Let's harness this opportunity to understand how cannabis could fit into a multi-faceted opioid prevention and response strategy.
Research shows that money and meals from the pharmaceutical industry do increase the amount doctors prescribe the drugs being marketed. (Shutterstock)

What Big Pharma pays your doctor

Big Pharma in Canada is far behind the curve when it comes to disclosing what payments to health-care professionals are for.
Thousands of people are dying every year of opioid-related overdoses, in an epidemic that traces its roots to 1996 and the introduction of the prescription drug OxyContin. Here, prescription opioids are shown in Toronto during 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

How Big Pharma deceives you about drug safety

Prescription drugs are policed by industry and Health Canada has never prosecuted a drug company for illegally marketing a drug.
Vivitrol, a non-opioid medication, is used to treat some cases of opioid dependence. Addiction specialists stress that not all patients need medication, but that many do. AP Photo/Carla K. Carlson

Why treating addiction with medication should be carefully considered

The U.S. has had multiple drug epidemics, and, until recently, has not had evidence-tested ways to help people. That has changed. New medicines can help. But other medical issues should also be addressed.
As North America’s opioid crisis worsens, schools across Canada are purchasing naloxone anti-overdose kits. Research suggests that risks of opioid addiction could also be addressed through attention to children’s nutrition. (Shutterstock)

Sugar in the diet may increase risks of opioid addiction

High fructose corn syrup in food and drinks has long been linked to rising rates of child and teen obesity. New evidence suggests it increases the risks of opioid addiction and overdose too.
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.
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.
President Obama spoke in Atlanta at a summit on how to curb the opioid epidemic. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Opioid crisis: How did we get here?

As congressional leaders today discuss legislation to curb the opioid epidemic, we look at three articles that explain how it happened and one that suggests some solutions.

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