Too much or never enough: a response to Treatment of opioid disorders in Canada: looking at the 'other epidemic'

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2016 Sep 20;11(1):33. doi: 10.1186/s13011-016-0076-z.

Abstract

Prescription opioid (PO) misuse is a major health concern across North America, and it is the primary cause of preventable death for the 18-35 year old demographic. Medication assisted therapy including methadone and buprenorphine, is the standard of care for patients with opioid-dependence. Moreover, both of these medications are recognized as essential medicines by World Health Organization. In Ontario Canada, the availability of medication assisted therapy has expanded substantially, with almost a ten-fold increase number of patients accessing methadone in Ontario in the past decade. In their manuscript, Fischer et. al. (2016), present a view that expansion of opioid maintenance therapy (OMT) has outpaced true patient need and alternate strategies should be considered as first-line treatments. Here, we present a countering perspective-that medication assisted therapy, along with other harm reduction strategies, should be widely available to all opioid-dependent people as first-line treatments.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid*
  • Buprenorphine
  • Humans
  • Methadone
  • Ontario
  • Opioid-Related Disorders*

Substances

  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone

Grant support