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Sharing a Solution – Overcoming Opioid Use Disorder

older couple confused about medication given to them by doctorYou’ve heard the news – Canada is in the midst a public health crisis. A recent report from the Public Health Agency of Canada found that 3,987 Canadians lost their lives due to a suspected opioid overdose in 2017 alone1.  That same report found that 726 Ontarians accidentally lost their lives in apparent opioid overdose in 2016, which increased to 1,125 in 2017 - an increase of almost 55%. These statistics are nothing short of tragic. The good news is we can make a positive difference together. There is no question that primary care providers play a crucial role in the management of this crisis.

It may seem like a daunting task a first; where does one even begin? The answer is by understanding the risks and address opioid use disorder head-on. To that end, we’re pleased to announce a new, certified CPD program, the Opioids Clinical Primer which has been designed to help primary care providers understand how they can address common issues and concerns with opioids in the clinical setting.

Today, the first course in a set of six has been launched. Opioid Use Disorder in Primary Care: Principles of Assessment and Management, highlights the role of opioids in the brain, signs & symptoms of opioid withdrawal, treatment options for patients with opioid use disorder, including the use of buprenorphine, and an overview of naloxone and how it prevents overdose.

The program page has more details about the other upcoming courses. You can subscribe to receive email alerts to keep up to date with the latest program developments.

This program is a result of a partnership between the University of Toronto and Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and was developed in collaboration with experts from all six of Ontario’s medical schools. The Opioids Clinical Primer is integrated with the suite of programs collectively described as Ontario Pain Management Resources: a partnership to help clinicians support their patients coordinated by Health Quality Ontario.

We are excited to share this program with you and hope that it gives you the knowledge and confidence needed to make a positive difference in the health of your patients who may be struggling.

References

  1. Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses. (2018). National report: Apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada (January 2016 to December 2017). Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/national-report-apparent-opioid-related-deaths-released-june-2018.html