Canada is second leading consumer of opioids in the world.
Doctors are being urged to put down their prescription pads and only prescribe opioids as a last resort.
The chairman of the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management cites an interim report presented in Calgary yesterday that says Canada is the second-leading consumer of opioids in the world.
Michael Heitshu says the drugs are often prescribed for common back pain and arthritis - conditions where such drugs aren't very effective.
The report says doctors can combat rising addiction rates by recommending alternative therapies such as physio and chiropractic care, and suggests governments considering adding alternative medicine to public health-care coverage.