'Health professionals and advocates at Friday's Provincial Pain Summit say a national pain strategy could balance the needs of those who live with chronic pain with the dangers of over-prescribing addictive opiates.
They say the opioid crisis that claimed over 900 lives in 2016 has swung the pendulum from over-prescription of drugs like oxycodone and even fentanyl, which are used legitimately by some in excruciating pain, to a point where some patients can't get the drugs they need.
'While much of the health care funding announced on Friday has been earmarked to tackle the opioid crisis, chronic pain sufferers caught in the middle hope the province will use some of it to put a system in place to help them.
One out of every five people in British Columbia lives with chronic pain. For Ada Glustein, an active Vancouver senior, the pain was initially all-consuming.
“It was hard to concentrate on anything else, it hurt so much. It was a deep ache that was constant,” Glustein said.
Maria Hudspith spent an hour with Co-op Radio on the Soap Box show to discuss the work Pain BC does, the impacts of chronic pain, as well as our 2017 Provincial Pain Summit, along with Dave Thomson (who attended the Summit) and Patty Emery.
The National Guidelines for use of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain are now out. They were developed by the National Pain Centre at McMaster University and funded by Health Canada. The authors encourage public feedback and comments but have stated that the guidelines are unlikely to change unless compelling evidence that the panel hadn't considered is presented.
The diagnosis knocked the wind out of her: breast cancer and the prospect of a mastectomy within days.
As an anesthesiologist — a specialist who makes surgical miracles possible by putting patients in a deep sleep and then awakening them to live again — Dr. Rassamee Ling knew what to expect after surgery.
“My big worry was preventing chronic pain. I knew right at the outset that was a possibility,” Ling says eight months after her initial surgery and two months after breast reconstruction.
'At 72, he’s endured more than 20 years of chronic pain punctuated by excruciating, breakthrough pain. For the past four years, it’s been mostly tolerable after extensive spinal surgery and with daily doses of opioids.