Health officials in Winnipeg are prescribing opioids for opioid-addicted patients.
Dr. Michael Sivak, a Winnipeg doctor who specialises in pain management, said he saw patients at his clinic who had used opioids, and had seen a few that he’d given to other patients.
“I’ve had some very aggressive cases where I’ve given them to a very young child or an elderly patient,” he said.
He said his practice was being inundated with people who had opioid prescriptions, and that he saw some patients in pain who didn’t even have opioids in their system.
In some cases, Sivagos said, patients had been using the opioids for several months, and he was surprised by how quickly the drugs became addictive.
Sivak said his patients were often very agitated and had a hard time functioning normally.
Dr. Steven Ewert, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Manitoba Health Centre, said that in the last few years, many more people in the city of Winnipeg have become addicted to opioids.
Ewert said there was a lot of anecdotal evidence that the city’s opioid crisis was causing more than just a rise in opioid use.
For example, he said, in the recent months, a number of patients had come to him complaining of severe pain and a lack of sleep.
They may have a higher blood pressure. “
So they may not be able to sleep.
They may have a higher blood pressure.
They might be drinking more alcohol.
They’re at risk for respiratory depression.
When you have an opioid-using population, you don’t have any kind of screening,” Ewet said.
“You don’t know what’s happening in your system.”
Eweth said the opioid crisis had become more public in recent years, with people asking for help, and getting frustrated when they were unable to get it.
The city was not doing enough to provide help, he added.
There are a lot more opioid users in the community, so we don’t need to do more than we are already doing.
Some of those opioid users may have started using opioids because they didn’t know they were addicted to the drugs, Eweth explained.
Even though many doctors are prescribing the opioids, many aren’t aware that the drugs can be addictive, and doctors may prescribe them for patients who have never used opioids before.
While Sivaki said he was unaware of anyone who had died from opioid overdose, he was concerned about the risk to others.
Doctors need to be trained to monitor patients who are taking opioids for longer periods of time, Sivaak said.
He also wants to see more training for nurses and social workers in how to provide support for people who are struggling with opioids.
“It’s important that we don`t forget to recognize that there are patients who may have experienced withdrawal symptoms, but are not having withdrawal symptoms,” Sivakis said.