The area that includes Sarnia-Lambton still has one of the highest levels in Ontario when it comes to opioid pain prescriptions.
That's why the new doctor at Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration (LHIN) leads to a reduction in opioids, said he wants to see change.
"Despite the opiate crisis and public awareness, we do not see how opiate prescription falls properly," said Dr. Blake Pearson.
"So my whole ambition is to train for alternatives and to create programs so we can reduce opiate levels by prescribing in our LHIN," he said.
According to the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network, the percentage (per 1000 people) of an opioid prescribing individuals for pain in 2017 ranged from 85.7 to almost double in different regions in Ontario than 168.4.
Percentage in Erie St. Clair, which includes Sarnia-Lambton, Chatam-Kent and Windsor-Essex, is 157.2.
That's about seven percentage points in 2016 – according to the trend in Ontario – but it's still at the high end of the provincial spectrum.
Pearson, a medical doctor specializing in medical cannabis as treating patients in pet houses with conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain, said he was waiting until he formally begun to run his doctor later this month to look into the specifics of its strategy.
"However, I expect to cooperate closely with doctors, health professionals and other experts throughout the ESC region to develop a progressive strategy that has a real impact on opioid and other addiction problems affecting our community," he writes. Email.
Recently, Pearson has returned from several conferences in Israel, the United States and Canada, where he presented his research on cannabinoid medicine.
"There was some really convincing evidence not only of me but of researchers in Israel," he said, cannabis use can reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs and opioids in elderly patients, including those with dementia who need comfort .
"I think we are still a little far from the doctors in general who accept this because of the lack of randomized, controlled double-blind trials that we are used to in the gold standard," he said, but noted that the research is under way,
Meanwhile, much of the damage to the opioid crisis stems from drugs on the street, but the reduction of recipes where it can be reasonable, said Irfan Dahla, vice president of Health Ontario.
"We do opioids much more than do doctors in many other countries, so it's probably good if we start opioids a little less often," he said.
In Canada in 2017, about 4,000 people, six in Sarnia-Lambton, died of reports of overdose of opioids.
Health Quality Ontario has no official stance on prescribing medical cannabis as an alternative, Dahla said.
"But I know that many doctors believe it is very sensible to prescribe medical marijuana, especially if it will lead to someone who is on high doses of opioids coming from these medications."
Usually non-opioids are the first step for patients with chronic pain, he said.
Massage, physiotherapy and medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are some other alternatives, he said.
It is important not to suddenly stop opiates for people who are stable on them, he said.
"Not only is this unpleasant, there is a danger that someone who goes through an opioid withdrawal will turn to friends or illegal sources to get opioids, consuming polluted opioids, overdosing and dying."
Consult a doctor before you decide to start treatment with cannabinoids, Pearson said, as it may interact with other medicines.
– Just because it's legal does not mean it's safe.
THROUGH THE NUMBERS
Individual opioid pain prescriptions (2017):
"At Erie Saint Clair
157.2 – Percentage of 1000 people
153.9 percent of 1,000 people
110.2 percent of 1000 people
Source: Ontario Drug Policy Research Network