Opioid misuse and addiction
© 2011 CAMH and St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto
The number of people receiving treatment for opioid addiction has risen sharply in recent years (Dhalla et al., 2009). Most family physicians in Ontario have recently had concerns about the opioid use of one or more of their patients (Wenghofer et al., 2011). This section provides a comprehensive overview of what primary care providers need to know about opioid misuse and addiction. This includes:
- which patients are most at risk of addiction
- how to adequately monitor these and other patients receiving opioids for chronic non-cancer pain
- how to treat pain in people who are known to be addicted to opioids.
The section does not address the much broader topic of opioid prescribing for chronic non-cancer pain. Most pain patients on opioids are not addicted, and are not at high risk of addiction. For a general guide to this topic, see the Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Pain.
This section of the Toolkit is now available in French.