Click on the links below to view the latest media releases that ODPRN distributes, often in collaboration with St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), illustrating current ODPRN research and scientists.
Ontario study finds variation in mental health medication use in children and youth
A new study from ICES and Unity Health Toronto found that mental health medication use in Ontario children and youth differs by age, between females and male and where individuals live in the province.
January 18, 2023 | Media Release | Associated Research
Study suggests pharmacists did not overuse their right to prescribe controlled substances during the pandemic
“These findings show that pharmacists were sensible in their use of the CDSA exemption,” says Dr. Mina Tadrous.
October 31, 2022 | Media Release | Associated Research
Safer opioid supply program shows promise for people at high-risk of overdose
For people at high-risk of overdose enrolled in a safer opioid supply (SOS) program, there was a rapid decrease in emergency department visits and hospitalizations soon after initiation, according to a new study led by Unity Health Toronto researchers.
September 19, 2022 | Media Release | Associated Research
Construction workers disproportionately impacted by opioid-related deaths, report finds
Nearly one in 13 opioid-related deaths in Ontario between 2018 and 2020 occurred among construction workers, and among construction workers who died over half were employed at time of death, according to a new report.
July 28, 2022 | Media Release | Associated Research
Product label changes do not prevent accidental acetaminophen overdoses
“We found that changes to acetaminophen labels that communicated the risks of overdose and the presence of acetaminophen in over-the-counter products did not affect rates of hospital admission for accidental acetaminophen overdose, ICU admission for accidental acetaminophen overdose and admission for acetaminophen overdoses involving opioids,” writes Dr. Tony Antoniou, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, with coauthors.
April 19, 2022 | Media Release | Associated Research
St. Michael’s scientists receive over $2.6-million in two CIHR competitions to address key COVID-19- related questions
A project funded through the ‘Understanding and mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families in Canada’ Operating Grants, Dr. Tony Antoniou and Dr. Tara Gomes will study hospital admissions and emergency department visits for mental health conditions, emergency department visits for self-harm, and prescriptions for psychotropics.
March 14, 2022 | Media Release
Flexible access to methadone during the pandemic associated with greater likelihood of staying on treatment for opioid use disorder: study
New research has found an Ontario provincial guidance change during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that recommended that individuals receive rapid access to take-home doses of medication for their opioid use disorder helped people stay on their treatment without increasing their risk of overdose in the subsequent six months.
March 1, 2022 | Media Release | Associated Research
New report shows potential missed opportunities in preventing opioid-related deaths in Ontario
One in four Ontarians who died of opioid overdose during the pandemic had an interaction with the healthcare system in the week prior to death, suggesting potential missed opportunities for supporting those at risk of overdose, a new report shows.
January 18, 2022 | Media Release | Associated Research
Chiefs of Ontario calls for action to address rise of opioid-related deaths among First Nations in Ontario
These reports highlight the increase in opioid-related poisoning during the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgent need to address the opioid crisis affecting First Nations in Ontario. “The COVID-19 pandemic emerged amid an opioid crisis in our communities. The findings in these reports reinforce what First Nations leadership, families and communities have been demanding for decades,” said Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare.
November 26, 2021 | Media Release | Associated Research
Safe opioid prescribing policies associated with abrupt tapering, potential patient harm
“As guidelines and policies have been developed with the goal of promoting more safe, appropriate opioid prescribing, there has been growing concern about the misapplication of recommendations leading to abrupt tapering of opioid doses,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Tara Gomes, a Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and ICES, and a Principal Investigator of the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.
September 21, 2021 | Media Release | Associated Research
Nine St. Michael’s-led research projects receive CIHR project grants, totaling more than $5.8 million in support
Led by Dr. Tony Antoniou, a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, this project will encompass six studies to provide doctors and pharmacists new information regarding the risks of specific drug interactions between opioids and commonly prescribed drugs.
August 5, 2021 | Media Release
Financial disincentives, stigma and discrimination create barriers for people who use opioids to access family doctors, study suggests
People who are treated for opioid use disorder in Ontario are 45 per cent less likely to secure a primary care provider after previously losing access to care compared to people with no recent prescription opioid exposure, according to a new study led by Unity Health Toronto researchers.
June 1, 2021 | Media Release | Associated Research
Report shows opioid-related deaths surged during pandemic, impacting vulnerable populations most
Ontario saw a 79 per cent increase in opioid-related deaths during the pandemic with marginalized populations – including people experiencing homelessness and unemployment – particularly impacted, according to a new report that details the circumstances of opioid-related deaths in the province.
May 19, 2021 | Media Release | Associated Research
Eight St. Michael’s-led research projects receive CIHR project grants
Dr. Tara Gomes and her team will be exploring patterns of opioid use and related harm, as well as pathways of health-care use and treatment outcomes among First Nations people – both broadly and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic – to provide First Nations communities with an understanding of the opioid crisis in their communities.
March 5, 2021 | Media Release
Understanding prescribing trends for hepatitis C treatment in Ontario
“This inter-professional collaboration, involving researchers, people with lived experience and healthcare providers, explored patterns of [direct-acting antivirals] reimbursement through Ontario’s public drug programs from public records.”
February 24, 2021 | CATIE | Blog | Associated Research
Policy changes to pharmacy-based naloxone provision significantly increased uptake among individuals at a high risk of opioid overdose, suggests new study
“An advantage to the ONPP is that it provides access to this life saving harm reduction medication at pharmacies, where chronic pain patients and patients being treated for an opioid use disorder are already visiting for their other medication,” said Dr. Antoniou.
December 2, 2020 | Media Release | Associated Research
New report details opioid-related overdoses in Ontario during COVID-19 pandemic
“This report should act as a call to action for governments and clinicians to provide the supports and services needed to address the needs of people who use drugs across Ontario,” said Dr. Tara Gomes.
November 10, 2020 | Media Release | Associated Research
Ontarians stockpiled prescription medications at beginning of pandemic, according to new drug monitoring tool
In mid-March, Ontarians stockpiled inhalers and there was a 19.2 per cent spike in the dispensing of Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria medication promoted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 that has since proven to be ineffective, according to a new interactive tool launched Thursday by scientists at the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.
October 15, 2020 | Media Release | Associated Research
What can COVID-19 teach us about drug shortages during a global emergency?
“The complexity and scope of this issue requires us to apply a comprehensive and collaborative approach that incorporates global insights and comparisons. Our team aims to develop an international consortium which will provide us with the opportunity to develop a common approach to drug shortages and global insights,” explained Tadrous. “Our research will help to inform risk mitigation strategies going forward with application for policy, formulary development, procedure and pricing.”
July 23, 2020 | Women’s College Hospital | Press Release| Associated Research
Ontario saw a rapid increase in naloxone distribution after kits became available at pharmacies, reaching almost 68,000 people in two years
The distribution of naloxone kits in Ontario increased rapidly after they were made available free of charge through community pharmacies and reached almost 68,000 people in a two-year period, according to a study led by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto and ICES
October 18, 2019 | Media Release | Associated Research
One in six adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities newly prescribed an antipsychotic
Nearly one in six adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Ontario started an antipsychotic medication over six years, and more than one-quarter of them did not have a psychiatric diagnosis, according to a new study by researchers at ICES, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN).
July 31, 2019 | Media Release | Associated Research
Report analyzes 1,337 opioid-related deaths in Ontario from July 2017 – June 2018
The Ontario Drug Policy Research Network of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, and Public Health Ontario have released a report analyzing the 1,337 opioid-related deaths in Ontario between July 2017 and June 2018.
June 17, 2019 | Media Release | Associated Research
Approximately one naloxone kit for every 100 Ontarians has been distributed
There were over 145,000 naloxone kits distributed across Ontario between July 2017 and June 2018. This is approximately one naloxone kit for every 100 Ontarians, according to a new report by researchers at ICES, St. Michael’s Hospital and the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN).
June 4, 2019 | Media Release | Associated Research
Prescriptions for medications commonly used to treat ADHD have increased over the past 5 years in Ontario
Approximately 1 in 78 Ontarians received a prescription stimulant in 2017 (180,699 individuals), with nearly half of those being children and youth (46 per cent were 18 years old and younger), a new study has found.
September 25, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
Multimedia online series features powerful first-person narratives from people who take opioids
The Opioid Chapters features Henry’s story along with those of 10 other people whose lives have been profoundly affected by opioids, a joint project of the Ontario Drug Policy and Research Network (ODPRN) and the website Healthy Debate.
September 6, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
One-third of opioid-related deaths in Ontario were among people actively treated with a prescription opioid in 2016
One-third of opioid-related deaths in Ontario were among people actively being treated with prescription opioids in 2016. However, this proportion has decreased significantly since 2013, according to a new study by researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), St. Michael’s Hospital and the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN).
August 29, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
Better outcomes for patients using single-pill combination for blood pressure
People who are prescribed a combination pill to manage their high blood pressure are more likely to take their medicine as instructed and have better health outcomes than those who take the same medications prescribed as separate pills, according to a new study published today.
June 11, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
One in every five deaths in young adults is opioid-related in the United States: study
One out of every five deaths among young adults in the United States is related to opioids, suggests a study led by researchers in Canada.
June 1, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
Nearly a quarter of all Ontarians newly prescribed opioids received a daily dose exceeding clinical guidelines
Nearly a quarter (23.9 per cent) of initial opioid prescriptions in Ontario had a daily dose of more than 50 milligram morphine equivalents (MME), exceeding the suggested dose threshold for opioid prescriptions outlined in North American clinical guidelines, according to a new study.
May 16, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
One in every six deaths in young adults is opioid-related: study
One out of every six deaths among young adults in Ontario is related to opioids, suggests a study led by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
April 25, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
Study finds more people relying on government catastrophic drug plans and big increase in government spending
Government spending for the catastrophic drug program in Ontario rose 840 per cent between 2000 and 2016, during which there was a three-fold increase in the use of this plan, a new study has found.
March 26, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
New study finds 1 in 200 patients prescribed opioids in emergency departments will be admitted to hospital for opioid toxicity
A study published in CMAJ Open shows that emergency physicians contribute significantly to new prescriptions for opioids in Ontario, and that they prescribe opioids at doses which exceed new Canadian guidelines more often than family physicians.
March 5, 2018 | Media Release | Associated Research
Combined use of opioids and gabapentin substantially increases risk of overdose
Ontario patients co-prescribed gabapentin and opioids were 49 per cent more likely to suffer an opioid-related death than patients prescribed opioids alone, a new study has found.
October 3, 2017 | Media Release | Associated Research
One in five opioid overdoses involves alcohol: study
Despite a decline in alcohol involvement in opioid-related deaths over past decade, one in five fatal opioid overdoses still involved alcohol in 2013, according to a new study.
August 31, 2017 | Media Release | Associated Research
Antipsychotics common for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Six-year Canadian study shows prescriptions often occur in adults with no psychiatric diagnosis.
August 23, 2017 | Media Release | Associated Research
New report finds number of people being prescribed opioids to treat pain in Ontario stabilized, but many still exceed recommended daily dose
The rate at which people are being prescribed opioids to treat pain in Ontario has stabilized while the amount of drugs they receive has declined considerably, a new report has found.
August 22, 2017 | Media Release | Associated Research
Small number of physicians account for majority of the drug prescriptions used to treat people battling opioid addictions, study finds
A small number of physicians prescribe the majority of the drugs used to treat people in Ontario who are battling opioid addictions.
July 19, 2017 | Media Release | Associated Research
Article of the Year for Canadian health policy research
A research paper from St. Michael’s Hospital’s Tara Gomes and her collaborators received the 2017 Article of the Year from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Health Services and Policy Research.
May 26, 2017 | Media Release | Associated Research
Two people a day die of opioid-related causes in Ontario
The rate of opioid-related deaths in Ontario has increased almost four-fold (285 per cent) over the past 25 years.
April 20, 2017 | Media Release | Associated Research
Study finds opioid prescribing declines following release of national guidelines for physicians, but rates of overdose-related hospital visits continue to climb
The rate of opioid use in Canada has fallen 13.7 per cent since the publication in May 2010 of national guidelines for their use in chronic non-cancer pain.
December 14, 2016 | Media Release | Associated Research
More than 600 Ontarians died of opioid-related causes in 2013 with opioid prescribing and overdose varying widely across the province
There were 638 opioid-related deaths in Ontario in 2013, approximately one death for every 20,000 Ontarians.
November 10, 2016 | Media Release | Associated Research
Limiting reimbursement for blood glucose test strips does not harm patients and reduces costs
A provincial plan implementing quantity limits on blood glucose test strips for patients with Type 2 diabetes not using insulin does not put those patients at risk.
November 7, 2016 | Media Release | Associated Research
New analysis looks at who is receiving high-strength opioids in Ontario
Nine out of 10 people in Ontario who receive government reimbursement for their prescription high-strength opioid tablets or patches are not palliative care patients.
August 2, 2016 | Media Release | Associated Research