Choosing Wisely Canada launches “Opioid Wisely”

March 01, 2018

(Ottawa – March 1, 2018) – Choosing Wisely Canada is launching a new campaign today to raise awareness around the importance of clinician-patient conversations to reduce harms associated with opioid prescribing. The Opioid Wisely campaign is supported by over 30 organizations representing doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, other health professionals, as well as patients and their families.

Central to the campaign is a set of 14 specialty-specific recommendations for when it is unsafe to
prescribe opioids. For example, the College of Family Physicians of Canada says that patients should not continue on opioids beyond the immediate period after surgery. This period is typically three days or less, and rarely more than seven days.

“We are seeing devastating consequences for individuals, families and communities as a result of the opioid crisis,” says Wendy Levinson, Chair of Choosing Wisely Canada. “It is a complex health and social issue, with no simple solution. Avoiding opioids in circumstances where safer treatment options are available is certainly part of the solution.”

“Family doctors see firsthand the impact of opioids on their patients including side effects, addiction, overdose, and death,” says Dr. Jeff Sisler, Executive Director, Professional Development and Practice Support with the College of Family Physicians of Canada. “We are pleased to support the Opioid Wisely recommendations that encourage more discussion between patients and their health care providers to explore other options for pain management.”

“As providers of care, we want to have a key role in ensuring the evidence-based use of these
medications to keep Canadians safe,” says Dr. Laurent Marcoux, President of the Canadian Medical Association. “The more information patients and prescribers have, we believe the better the outcome will be.”

To learn more about the Opioid Wisely campaign, and to view the complete set of recommendations and patient materials, visit www.ChoosingWiselyCanada.org/opioid-wisely. Additional recommendations will be released in the near future.

Opioid Wisely is an initiative of Choosing Wisely Canada, a national campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments, and make smart and effective care choices. Choosing Wisely Canada is organized by the University of Toronto, Canadian Medical Association and St. Michael’s Hospital.

Organizations currently participating in the Opioid Wisely campaign:

  • Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine*
  • Canadian Anesthesiologists Society
  • Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
  • Canadian Association of Hospital Dentists*
  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Canadian Association of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation*
  • Canadian Association of Poison Control Centres
  • Canadian Chiropractic Association
  • Canadian Deprescribing Network
  • Canadian Headache Society*
  • Canadian IBD Network of Research and Growth in Quality Improvement*
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • Canadian Nurses Association
  • Canadian Pain Society
  • Canadian Pharmacists Association*
  • Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Canadian Psychiatric Association
  • Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists
  • Canadian Society of Internal Medicine*
  • Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada*
  • Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians
  • Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists
  • Canadian Spine Society*
  • College of Family Physicians of Canada*
  • Families for Addiction Recovery
  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada
  • Occupational Medicine Specialists of Canada*
  • Pan-Canadian Collaborative on Education for Improved Opioid Prescribing

*One of the 11 organizations that have released opioid-related recommendations, as of March 1, 2018.

About Choosing Wisely Canada

Choosing Wisely Canada is a national campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments, and make smart and effective care choices. Choosing Wisely Canada launched on April 2, 2014, and is organized by the University of Toronto, Canadian Medical Association and St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto).

SOURCE: Choosing Wisely Canada

For further information:
Stephanie Callan
Communications Coordinator
[email protected]
416-864-6060 x77560

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