The Current

Opioid crisis: Pain specialist calls on government to fix holes in system

Critics have blamed doctors for overprescribing painkillers leading to the public health emergency. The Current hears from a doctor who tells us just how limited his options are when trying to treat chronic pain.
New data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows New Brunswick is bucking a national trend by dispensing higher quantities of opioids in 2016, compared to 2012. (The Canadian Press)

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On The Current last week, we covered the growing issue of opioid abuse in Canada after British Columbia declared a public health emergency.

So far this year, there have been more than 200 overdose deaths in the province related to the synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

After our segment aired, we heard from many doctors struggling to care for patients with chronic pain. 

Dr. Hance Clarke, director of Toronto General Hospital's Transitional Pain Program, believes it's time the government addresses the opioid crisis. He says the system has created this crisis, and it's failing patients living with pain.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins.