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)
Canadian hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with the inpatient opioid crisis. Lack of specialist addictions care puts patients and staff at risk.
Mortality data show only the final result of opioid overdose, not why it happens.
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The toll of the opioid epidemic is often derived from toxicology reports. These rely on drug tests. A medical historian explains these tests and how they fall short of capturing why people are dying.
Many people may misunderstand the basics about opioids. That prevents researchers from understanding the full scope of the epidemic.
A few woefully underfunded academic health sciences centres are responsible for providing complex care to patients with life-threatening illnesses as well as training future doctors and testing the latest in new surgical techniques.
Canada's systems of health funding, medical training and physician compensation need an overhaul – to support vital centres of medical research and complex care.
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
A recent study argues that naloxone increases opioid use because it protects against death from overdose. Could the number one public health tool to fight the overdose epidemic be making it worse?
The way opioids work on the brain makes finding non-opioid treatments for addiction very challenging.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Two neuroscientists explain the cruel chemistry of opioid addiction and why this crisis could last a lifetime.
Contrasting cityscapes, similar challenges
Universities teach students and produce research -- but do they have responsibility to engage with the communities that surround them? Two university presidents explain why their answer is an emphatic yes.
The U.S. has the highest daily opioid use rate in the world.
Most countries need to find a happy balance between the American attitude that all pain needs to be cured – and the ethos in other countries that pain is to be endured.
As doctors have learned more about the types of pain, they can better tailor treatment.
As knowledge of pain and the highly addictive nature of opioids has grown, so has the knowledge grown about pain and its origins. A pain specialist explains the intricacies, and how treatment is changing as a result.
Pain of the sick: ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ by Sir Charles Bell, 1806.
In today's opioid crisis, why are some people with addictions treated with empathy and others with disdain? The answer to that question has roots in the 19th century.
Paramedics and firefighters in Cincinnati respond to a possible opioid overdose at a hotel on Nov. 2, 2017.
John Minchillo/AP Photo
Deaths from opioid overdose and suicide are at an all-time high. One in 10 adult Americans uses marijuana. And only 1 in 3 Americans self-describes as 'happy.' A public health expert asks, what's going on?
‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’ was the first modern drug memoir and set the tone for opium use for decades. Here: Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy), a group of deep red flowers, buds and seed pods. Opium is extracted from the latex of the unripe seed pods. Ripe seeds are innocuous and widely used in baking.
(Rowan McOnegal/Wellcome Collection)
'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater' is considered the first modern drug memoir. Many believe it is responsible for our romantic ideas of opium-based drug use today.
Every patient is different.
Each person experiences pain differently, depending on his or her genetic makeup. That makes it difficult to figure out what treatments patients need.
Naloxone is often used to revive people overdosing from opioids.
Scientists are just starting to understand how your parents' genes and experiences might shape your own susceptibility to dangerous drugs. Could that help to stop addictions before they start?
Evidence from countries that execute people for drug offenses shows no relationship between harsh punishment and rates of drug use.
Just seven countries worldwide regularly execute people for drug crimes, most of them authoritarian regimes. Nothing suggests that this brutal policy actually curbs drug use.
Pain lets us know when there is something wrong, but sometimes our brains can trick us.
Mai Lam/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
Trust Me I’m An Expert: The science of pain.
The Conversation 58.7 MB (download)
Our podcast Trust Me, I'm An Expert, goes beyond the headlines and asks researchers to explain the evidence on issues making news. Today, we're talking pain and what science says about managing it.
When should you ask your doctor for opioids?
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A scholar explains why there is no one answer. Some pain is devastating, and sometimes such pain responds well to opioids. On the other hand, there is evidence that some physicians overprescribe.
Needles used for shooting heroin and other opioids litter the ground of a Philadelphia park.
By undermining the ACA, Republicans may be taking away one of the health care system's best tools for improving the lives of those with addiction.
Opioids don’t work for chronic pain, and can make it worse in the long-term.
Australia is facing a critical public health issue of poorly managed pain. The result is more opioid-related deaths than the road toll.
President Donald Trump displays a presidential memorandum he signed, declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 26, 2017, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Opioids kill an average of eight people every day in Canada. The federal government must officially declare this a 'public welfare emergency' and invest the funds critical to a humane response.