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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp e325–e327 | Cite as

Between a rock and a hard place: Prescription opioid restrictions in the time of fentanyl and other street drug adulterants

  • Tessa ChengEmail author
  • Kora DeBeck
Commentary
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Non-medical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) has increased alarmingly across Canada and resulted in strict prescribing restrictions on opioids. Despite a clear need to reduce opioid prescriptions in response to this crisis, few other policies have been implemented and this singular focus is incongruent with the known characteristics of substance use disorders, negative effects of supply reduction policies, and realities of pain management. Given the recent rise of fentanyl and otherdangerous adulterants in streetdrugs, this commentary argues thatacomprehensive response to NMPOU that includes improvements to addiction management and harm-reduction services is urgently needed.

Key Words

Public health pain opioid-related disorder harm reduction 

Résumé

La consommation d’opioïdes d’ordonnance à des fins non médicales (COOFNM), qui augmente de façon alarmante au Canada, a donné lieu à l’imposition de strictes restrictions sur la prescription d’opioïdes. Il était clairement nécessaire de réduire les prescriptions d’opioïdes en réponse à la crise, mais peu d’autres politiques ont été mises en œuvre, et cette focalisation unique est incompatible avec les caractéristiques connues des troubles de consommation de substances, les effets néfastes des politiques de réduction de l’offre et les réalités de la prise en charge de la douleur. Devant la hausse récente du fentanyl et d’autres adultérants dangereux dans les drogues de rue, nous faisons valoir qu’il est urgent d’opposer à la COOFNM une réponse globale qui comprenne des améliorations à la prise en charge des toxicomanies et aux services de réduction des méfaits.

Mots Clés

Santé publique douleur troubles liés aux opiacés réduction des dommages 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simon Fraser University, Research Associate, Urban Health Research Initiative, B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDSSt. Paul’s HospitalVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.School of Public PolicySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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