Supporting Safe Opioid Use in Ontario
Published Sept. 11, 2017, 2:47 p.m.
Ontario is facing an opioid crisis as the human cost associated with addiction continues to climb. Recognizing the important role pharmacy professionals can play in helping to curb this serious public health issue, the College is developing a comprehensive Opioid Strategy that will complement local, provincial and national efforts underway to reduce addiction and mortality due to opioids. This strategy will be presented to College Council at its September meeting.
The Opioid Strategy will build on the College’s existing commitment to providing professionals with a number of practice tools and other resources to help them provide appropriate care and support for patients who have been prescribed narcotics. These tools are available on our website and are regularly communicated and distributed to professionals throughout the province.
For patients and families, there are a number of helpful resources available to help you learn more about opioids, including how to ensure safe and appropriate use and prevent overdose:
- Get Naloxone Kits for Free – Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse and opioid overdose. This government website provides information on how to access and use naloxone.
- Opioid Pain Medicine Information for Patients and Families – This resource from ISMP Canada provides information on risks and side effects of taking opioids, and describes possible signs of an overdose.
- Drug and Alcohol Helpline – A free service providing information about drug addiction services in Ontario.
- Opioid Addiction: Getting Help, Opioids: How to Use Them Safely, and Preventing Opioid Overdose – These quick resources from CAMH support safe opioid use.
- Opioid Information for Patients – These key messages for patients are based on the Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain.
Patients are encouraged to contact their pharmacist with any specific questions regarding their opioid prescriptions.