'Perry Kendall is correct when he says that "we are going to have to think more broadly" about our response to the overdose epidemic (B.C. Health Officer Calls For Greater Focus On Opioid Crisis, Feb. 1).
One significant limitation in British Columbia's response to the crisis is the failure to address pain as a driver of substance use. Pain has been recognized as a significant contributing factor in the overdose crisis by the BC Centre for Disease Control, Fraser Health, the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, and even the B.C. government's own Behind the Numbers project. Despite this, investment in pain services is negligible.
Effective pain management strategies are vital to addressing the root causes of substance use. We need expanded access to interdisciplinary care, integration of pain management into addiction services, and solutions to the unintended consequences of new College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia standards for opioid prescribing. Without these, we may see the crisis continue unabated.'
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Pain BC Executive Director