Doc Talk #43 – Opiods

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If you use recreational drugs or know someone who does and are at risk of opioid overdose, you get hold of free antidote naloxone (narcan) kits. These are available at hospitals and also community pharmacies.

Here is an up to date list provided by Alberta Health Services of community pharmacies that offer free naloxone kits

As of March 2017, your local options are: Vegreville Value Drug Mart, Mundare Royal Compounding Pharmacy, Guardian Drugs Tofield and Tofield Pharmachoice

(Naloxone kit image by James Heilman, MD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

In this show, Dr Dan and Jamieson talked about opioids. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta has released some new prescribing standards in relation to these powerful medications.

They discussed the difference between older opioids and newer synthetic opioids. As well, they talked about the problems associated with opiod treatment, including addiction and withdrawal reactions.

The spate of deaths related to opiods is largely because of fentanyl and carfentanil in illicit drugs. Carfentanil is not used for human medicine, but it is employed as an elephant tranquilizer.

Instead of a commercial grade mixer, you’re getting the best guess of some burly tattooed guy mixing up the drugs in his bath tub

Opiods in general are not a good treatment for most chronic pain. Medication is only a small part of managing pain.

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This image is from the pain society of Alberta which has some other resources available here

Avoid sharing your prescription medication with others.

Make sure you keep your medication securely locked up and away from teenagers and children in the house.

If it was meant for an elephant, it’s not meant for you!