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Alberta doctors given stricter guidelines on prescribing opioids

Story by Erica Fisher, 2Day FM Grande Prairie

Alberta doctors are being told to be more cautious when it comes to prescribing opioids. The College of Physicians and Surgeons says that starting April 1st, physicians will have to justify their prescriptions based on documented patient assessments.

They’ll need to discuss other treatment options first, and explain the medication’s risks and benefits. Doctors are also recommended to check a patient’s history through an independent source, and only prescribe the minimum dosage in the meantime.

“Putting more checks and balances in place for these drugs will help patients and our members,” says
CPSA Registrar Dr. Trevor Theman. “These drugs pose a significant health risk and physicians need to
ensure they are prescribing responsibly.”

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He adds that some situations could call for a higher dose and still be appropriate.

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