McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

The intersection of chronic pain and opioid drugs topic for talk

By Suzanne Morrison
Published: October 26, 2011
Norm Buckley
Norm Buckley, director, Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre; and professor and chair, Department of Anesthesia for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine

A lively debate on opioids and chronic pain is expected when the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre at McMaster University hosts a public discussion on the topic at McMaster Innovation Park on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Everyone is welcome to the 7 to 9 p.m. panel discussion, including patients, family caregivers, nurses, doctors, pharmacists and members of the public.

Approximately one in four Canadians is affected by chronic non-cancer pain in which opioids, such as codeine (Tylenol 3), oxycodone (Oxycontin) and morphine, play an important role in treatment. However, there are concerns that these drugs may be misused, cause addictions, or be diverted for sale on the street.

At the same time, Canada has the third largest per capita consumption of opioids in the world, after the United States and Belgium.

The session entitled "What a Pain! Debate Around the Use of Opioids in Chronic Pain Management" will hear from a panel of experts including Dr. Andrea Furlan, physiatrist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute; Dr. Beth Sproule, pharmacist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; and Sandra Gartz, secretary of the Canadian Pain Coalition. The panel moderator is Dr. Norm Buckley, director, Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre, and professor and chair of anesthesia for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

"There has been a lot of discussion in the news about the use of opioids and patients, physicians and the public all have questions about what is appropriate," said Buckley, who is also director of the Pain Management Centre at Hamilton Health Sciences' Hamilton General Hospital. "There are risks to using opioids but there are also risks to failing to treat pain problems, and we hope that this session will present an opportunity for members of the public to ask about these issues."

McMaster Innovation Park is located at 175 Longwood Road South. The event is free but seating is limited. Please RSVP your attendance to

The evening is part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Science on Tap series and jointly sponsored by CIHR, McMaster University and the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre.


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