Addictions doctor says physicians need more help treating people with chronic pain

An addictions doctor in Saskatchewan says physicians need more help treating people with chronic pain and avoiding opioids.

Saskatoon Health Region addictions consultant Doctor Peter Butt says there needs to be better access to physical therapy, massage therapy and other non-drug interventions, which aren't readily available in the health-care system.

He says dosage recommendations in the new national guidelines released in May are better, but the guidelines are weak when it comes to weaning people off opioids.

Butt, who is on a task force to address fentanyl and opioid deaths in Saskatchewan, also says without a good transition strategy, people could go into withdrawal and turn to street drugs.

The principal investigator for the guidelines says there are a lot of safeguards in place against rapid, inappropriate reduction of opioids in the new recommendations.

But Jason Busse, a researcher for the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre and an assistant professor at McMaster University, says he agrees with Butt that there are risks in being too aggressive in weaning patients off the drugs

He also says there needs to be better access to other therapies because doctors can't deliver services that aren't available.

 It's not known how many Canadians are hooked on opioids, but the highly addictive drugs were responsible for an estimated 25-hundred overdose deaths across the country in 2016.

  • IceDogs Select Timothy Liljegren in Import Draft

    The CHL Import draft is underway and with the 13th overall pick the IceDogs have selected Swedish D-Man Timothy Liljegren. Liljegren stands 6'1" tall, weighing in at 191lbs and was Toronto's first round selection, 17th overall at last weekend's NHL entry draft.
  • IceDogs Exhibition Schedule Announced

    The IceDogs pre-season schedule has been announced with four exhibition games beginning September 1st, featuring home games in both Thorold and Beamsville. Barrie and Kitchener will provide the opposition in preparation for the 2017-2018 regular season.
  • Dogs Ben Jones Selected by Vegas

    A second member of the IceDogs sees his NHL dream become a reality as Ben Jones is drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights. Jones was chosen in the 7th round, 189th overall by the expansion Golden Knights in the NHL entry draft.