Why medical training is key to reducing drug overdose deaths in B.C.

published on February 23, 2022 by Rob Munro in Infotel Kelowna

There’s no question that there’s a lot of pain and suffering in the world.

When B.C. residents turn to health care professionals to help them deal with physical pain, they are all too often consulting someone with no formal training in the use of opioids.

That’s part of the reason that drug overdose deaths have been four times higher than COVID deaths over the past two years in B.C.

“I still think opioid prescribing is a bit of a taboo subject,” Dr. Seonaid Nolan, an assistant professor with the Department of Medicine at UBC in Vancouver and a clinician scientist with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, told iNFOnews.ca.

“I definitely received no training around how to appropriately prescribe opioids, how to optimize non-opioid prescribing for pain management and so I do feel there are a lot of health care providers that are prescribing opioids but don’t feel confident in their prescribing practices,” she said. “Often we see, certainly where I work, people who are continuing to be abruptly discontinued or tapered off because physicians and other prescribers are really worried about being audited and being criticized for how they are prescribing.”…

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