According to Health Quality Ontario, the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) — which covers Windsor-Essex, Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent — has the highest opioid prescription rates in the province, with 18 prescriptions per 100 people.
While opioids are an effective way to relieve pain, addiction to and overdoses from the drugs have become what’s considered a major public health crisis.
As a result, the Erie-St. Clair LHIN has appointed Dr. Blake Pearson from Sarnia to encourage doctors to reduce opioid prescription rates in the region.
“There’s a number of different ways I’d like to go about [reducing prescribing opioids],” he said. “Whether it’s working with the surgeons to reduce post-op prescribing … working with dentists to reduce their prescribing, or certain outreaches we’re going to do with family physicians as well.”
Pearson, who specializes in cannabinoid medicine, stressed it’s not as simple as switching patients over to cannabis-based drugs, but they can help.