Opioid Crisis

Opioids in NB

This website was developed in partnership by the New Brunswick Medical Society and the New Brunswick Department of Health to provide primary care providers and the public access to evidence-based resources, tools and support related to opioids in the context of pain management.  Opioids continue to be indicated in certain situations. However, there is widespread acknowledgement that while opioids may be helpful for some, they can in fact be harmful for others. Prescribing opioids in the context of a pain management treatment plan can therefore be complex.

Canada continues to face an opioid crisis, and New Brunswick is not sheltered from this issue. Although much of the opioid related harms experienced by Canadians are linked to the illicit use of opioids, prescribing practices also contribute to this issue. To meaningfully impact this public health crisis, a holistic approach that not only includes opioid prescribing practices, but also a focus on other crucially important social determinants of health is needed.

Primary care providers are often the first health care professionals with whom a patient will consult for pain. They are also often the first health care professionals consulted for substance use and mental heath issues, both of which can accompany pain management efforts. Enhanced prescribing practices, increased knowledge of various treatment modalities for pain, along with an understanding of the importance of reducing stigma will go a long way to positively influence and impact patients’ journey along the continuum of care in their own recovery.