Fentanyl crisis and historical perspectives

Over the past month or so I’ve been mulling over the current opioid crisis and what it means, and of course what history can tell us about it.  It culminated in an op ed in the Globe and Mail entitled “Why is everyone talking about painkillers, but not about pain?” I felt that this article in its 700 word format was a decent introduction to the complexity of the current opioid crisis, but of course there is so much to say.

Having written op eds before, on cannabis legalization and liquor control, I don’t think I was prepared for the type of attention this article received.  I guess it was the timeliness and the national scope, but also the emergent nature of the crisis. I will in the next few days try to capture some of the response without betraying any confidences. Suffice it to say when dealing with pain and medical treatment, people have a lot of stories to tell, and they need to tell them.  As the recipient of these stories, I’ve been humbled and saddened but also enlightened. Moreover, it has reinforced my resolve that the current painkiller crisis has much deeper roots and needs more concerted efforts to address its origins.

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