Data on brain damage due to opioid use lacking (Dr. Adam Peets, SPH)

Canada is currently facing a serious opioid crisis, with over 9,000 opioid-related deaths having occurred between January 2016 and June 2018. However, no comprehensive statistics exist regarding individuals who have survived brain-damaging effects of opioids.

Canadian doctors are becoming concerned with the lack of data and statistics regarding individuals who are living with brain damage experienced as the result of opioid use or overdose. In an interview with CBC News, Dr. Adam Peets, a physician in the intensive care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) in Vancouver, said:

“It’s something that the whole health-care system needs to do a better job on… How can we adjust the way we do business without having the best data to help drive those decisions, like staffing or going to the government and saying, ‘Look how many patients are overdosing and having chronic brain injury. We need to do more primary prevention and secondary prevention or fund post-discharge rehab.'”

Astra Hemming reports.

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