TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - ACTION Ontario, a non-profit group advocating
on behalf of chronic pain sufferers, welcomes the announcement of a
provincial narcotics strategy and encourages the government to act on
the underlying issue of chronic pain.
"The government's strategy is a good first step in tackling the
narcotics issue, but we also need to address the underlying problem of
how we treat chronic pain in this province," said Dr. Angela
Mailis-Gagnon, the chair of ACTION Ontario and founder and director of
the Comprehensive Pain Program at the Toronto Western Hospital. Dr.
Mailis-Gagnon is also a member of the provincial narcotic advisory
panel, as well as the National Opioid Use Guideline Group. "We need a
comprehensive strategy that addresses how pain is diagnosed and managed,
including access to a variety treatment options."
Janice Frampton, a 53-year-old Pickering resident and co-chair of
ACTION's patient advocacy arm, has struggled with debilitating pain her
entire life from a congenital condition called Tethered Spinal Cord
Syndrome. "I know from my own experience people will take whatever they
need to, and in increasing quantities, to try and escape their pain. I
drank heavily in an attempt to manage my pain," said Frampton. "Finally,
after being properly diagnosed and treated, I am able to manage my pain
and my life appropriately."
"We need to look at the bigger picture. Medications and treatments are
only as good as the physicians who prescribe them and the knowledge of
the patients who receive them. This cycle of overprescribing narcotics
for chronic pain will continue until patients choose to educate
themselves as I did. There is no cookie cutter approach to treating
pain. A comprehensive pain strategy is key to addressing this complex
Other Canadian provinces, like Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia, have
successfully implemented pain strategies that could help inform the
Ontario experience. Chronic pain is an escalating health problem
affecting 20-30% of Canadians and it has been estimated that chronic
pain costs the Canadian economy approximately $6 billion a year.
ACTION Ontario, a non-profit organization comprised of doctors,
researchers, other health-care professionals and patients, advocates on
behalf of neuropathic pain sufferers. Neuropathic pain is a particularly
debilitating form of chronic pain. ACTION Ontario is committed to
increasing awareness about the cost of neuropathic pain and to seeing
improvements in the diagnosis and care of people with neuropathic pain.
For more information, please visit www.actionontario.ca.
SOURCE ACTION ONTARIO
For further information: For further information:
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(416) 413-4765 (office)
(416) 518-6032 (cell)