Opioids are a group of prescription drugs used to treat pain conditions; however the efficacy and safety of their use in treating chronic non-cancer pain has been widely questioned due to a lack of long-term studies, the availability of various opioid types and potencies on the market, and uncertainty on appropriate dosing. Given that Canada and the United States have the highest per capita consumption of opioids worldwide, this area required further evidence.
The ODPRN has conducted several population-based studies on the safe and appropriate use of opioids in Ontario by investigating the overall trends and geographic variation in opioid prescribing and related deaths, and the impact of policy and education interventions on important patient outcomes.
Opioid maintenance therapy (OMT) using methadone or buprenorphine is the recommended treatment for opioid use disorder in Ontario and many jurisdictions around the world. Yet little is known about the physicians in Ontario who actually prescribe these medications and their practice patterns. This study investigates the distribution of OMT services in Ontario, the characteristics of physicians who provide OMT, and the frequency of office visits and urine drug screens for patients seeking OMT in Ontario.