June 20th, 2019

// Better access to pain management needed to combat the opioid crisis

Better access to pain management needed to combat the opioid crisis

Possible solutions to Canada's opioid crisis

TORONTO, June 19, 2019 /CNW/ - A new report from the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management (CSEPM) highlights possible solutions to Canada's opioid crisis. The report's authors believe that optimizing safe and effective non-pharmacological treatments could reduce the use of opioids as a first-line treatment for non-cancer pain.

Many people who become dependent on opioids were originally looking to relieve pain. Unfortunately, many of those Canadians are unaware of pain-management alternatives or are unable to access them because they are not funded through public healthcare or are inadequately funded through insurance. These alternatives include psychological treatments, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments and occupational therapy.

"We want to shine a light on solutions that are designed to reduce the number of people newly introduced to opioids," says Alison Dantas, CEO of the Canadian Chiropractic Association and chair of CSEPM. "We want Canadians, and key decision-makers, to know that alternatives are available and we're eager to partner with groups who are focused on preventing the spread of this epidemic."

The report targets key stakeholders in government and healthcare and highlights four changes that could transform Canada's approach to pain management and, ultimately, harm reduction from opioids:

  • Embed non-pharmacological pain management as part of essential health care in Canada. 
  • Empower patients and prescribers to make safe choices in pain management. 
  • Integrate non-pharmacological pain management into primary care settings. 
  • Ensure everyone in Canada has timely access to non-pharmacological pain management.

CSEPM was formed in February 2017 and includes health system experts, associations of health professionals and patient organizations. The coalition, a signatory of Canada's Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis, recognizes the importance and necessity of pharmaceuticals, as well as timely access to surgical interventions.

"Pain is as diverse as the people who experience it," says Arthritis Society President and CEO Janet Yale. "Patients and physicians, therefore, need access to a range of therapies and strategies to help cope with it, including both pharmacological and non-pharmacological options, in order to find the right solution or combination of solutions for each person. It's about achieving both patient safety and improved quality of life."

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, more than 10,300 Canadians died as a result of an apparent opioid-related overdose between January 2016 and September 2018. And Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said "the newly released figures serve as a "stark reminder" of the importance of maintaining and ramping up efforts to stop the epidemic."

The full report, including four strategies and six key recommendations, is available here: http://www.csepm.ca/

About CSEPM:
The Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management was formed in February 2017. The group brings together health system experts, associations of health professionals, and patient organizations to highlight the benefits of non-pharmacological pain management and address the opioid crisis.

CSEPM's primary objective is to reduce the prevalence of opioid prescribing by optimizing nonpharmacological pain management alternatives in Canada, while recognizing the importance and necessity of pharmaceuticals, as well as timely access to surgical interventions. CSEPM's recommendations must be qualified by its primary objective – which is on prevention.

CSEPM Members:
Arthritis Society 
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists 
Canadian Association of Social Workers 
Canadian Chiropractic Association 
Canadian Nurses Association 
Canadian Patient Safety Institute 
Canadian Physiotherapy Association 
Canadian Psychological Association 
Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada 
Patients for Patient Safety Canada 

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SOURCE Canadian Chiropractic Association

For further information:

Media please contact: Tari Stork, Director of Public Affairs Canadian Chiropractic Association 905.868.9188


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