‘Canada needs a better approach:’ Health groups want alternatives to opioids

Groups say best way to reduce opioid addiction is to not prescribe them

An interim report released at a Calgary pain management conference suggests the best way to cut down on opioid addiction is to not prescribe it in the first place.

Michael Heitshu of the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management says a lack of affordable alternatives for painkillers in Canada is partly behind over-reliance on opioids and rising addiction rates.

He says many symptoms that lead to opioid prescriptions could be treated with other measures such as psychological treatments, physiotherapy, chiropractic care and occupational therapy.

Heitshu says it’s time for doctors to put down their prescription pads when it comes to opioids except as a last resort.

The study recommends provincial and federal governments consider adding alternative medicine to coverage under public health care.

A final report from the coalition is expected next year.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

Some Smithers businesses may re-open sooner rather than later

Weekly Chamber of Commerce video conference focuses on business concern amid COVID-19

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Northern Health says it’s ready for possibility of COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read