Four years after the publication of guidelines on opioid prescription, opioid abuse continues to affect thousands of Canadians, according to doctors.

Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences found the rate of high-dose opioid dispensing across Canada increased 23 per cent during the six-year study, from 781 units per 1,000 people in 2006 to 961 units in 2011.


Ontario had the highest dispensing rate at 1,382 units per 1,000 people – more than one per resident – while Quebec had the lowest rate at 368 units per 1,000 people.



In 2010, the Canadian Medical Association published guidelines on prescribing opioids such as oxycodone and fentanyl to treat chronic pain. According to earlier reports, most physicians don’t have an idea about the effects of opioids on the body when prescribed too liberally. From 1999 to 2004, the number of deaths by oxycodone overdose increased fivefold.

Respiratory Shutdown

According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids can halt automatic functions like breathing by hitting the brain stem, which controls these functions. Some of the symptoms of a respiratory depression, as it’s called, include abrupt mood swings, nausea, pinpoint pupils, and a reduced breathing rate. Paramedics often encounter unconscious victims as a result.

A Safer Alternative

In light of the problem with opioids, doctors and health experts alike look to a common solution: chiropractic care.

A Milton physiotherapy clinic like Omni Health and Rehab Clinic uses chiropractic care to deal with various pain issues without relying on painkillers or other drugs. This form of alternative medicine manipulates various joints and the spine to mitigate, if not remedy, chronic pain. Any misaligned disc will surely cause pain to its region of influence.

The chiropractic doctrine differs from that of painkillers, which block pain signals and alter the brain’s response. Chiropractic care attacks the source of the pain itself, enabling long-lasting relief, whereas the painkillers’ effects are temporary. The eventual healing is left to the body’s healing mechanism, which can only function effectively under homeostasis.

Painkillers are effective for their intended purpose, but there are problems that only need a good pair of chiropractic hands. Visit a chiropractor in Milton the next time your back starts acting up again.

(Source: “Prescriptions for high dose opioids on rise in Canada, study finds,” The Canadian Press [c/o Canadian Chiropractor], September 15, 2014).

Dr. Anil Kaushal

Dr. Anil Kaushal


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