Opioid prescribing practices in Ontario are becoming safer, but many patients with existing prescriptions before the introduction of the new guidelines are still receiving higher doses of the painkiller, report finds. Researchers also found that patients from lower socioeconomic groups are still overrepresented among those seeking treatment for opioid addiction and dying of an opioid-related overdose. Many of them are located in Thunder Bay District, Northwestern Ontario and Lambton, North Bay-Parry Sound, and Sudbury and District. According to the report, the number and rate of Ontarians being prescribed opioids to treat addiction are increasing, with a total of 0.4% of Ontario residents with opioid prescriptions for addiction treatment in 2016.

Corresponding author:

Tara Gomes, Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital; Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences; Ontario Drug Policy Research Network, Email: GomesT@smh.ca

Read the full report, prepared for the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.

Associated St. Michael’s Hospital press release.