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How technology can help with the opioid crisis

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While the national opioid epidemic is killing thousands of Canadians each year — straining an already overburdened health-care system — there is another, related health crisis of pandemic proportions affecting millions of Canadians: chronic pain.

The toll of chronic pain on individual Canadians, families, and our country is staggering. According to the Canadian Pain Society, one in five Canadians lives with chronic pain — defined as pain that lasts for three months or longer — and it costs our health care and social systems billions of dollars per year.

For many, this constant physical burden is devastating to their quality of life. In extreme cases, it can lead to a vicious cycle that starts with an inability to work or be productive, and damaged relationships with loved ones. This can lead to depression, which is exacerbated by a lack of treatment. The vicious cycle can end with drug addiction — contributing to the opioid crisis and avoidable overdose deaths — or suicide.

The reliance and misuse of opioids is inextricably linked to chronic pain and we need a more comprehensive pain management strategy.

A multidisciplinary approach would involve the right professional support and the........

© St. Catharines Standard