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  • News
  • November 08, 2016

Helping Patients in Kingston Manage Chronic Pain

Ontario Taking Action to Prevent Opioid Abuse

November 8th

Ontario is helping patients in Kingston manage chronic pain and avoid the use of prescription pain killers by supporting Hotel Dieu Hospital’s newly expanded chronic pain clinic.

Ontario is implementing its first comprehensive Opioid strategy to prevent opioid addiction and overdose by enhancing data collection, modernizing prescribing and dispensing practices, and connecting patients with high quality addiction treatment services.

As part of this plan, the government is investing in Ontario's Chronic Pain Network to create or enhance 17 chronic pain clinics across the province.  Hotel Dieu Hospital’s enhanced chronic pain clinic is helping patients in Kingston through multi-disciplinary care teams ensuring that patients receive timely and appropriate care to help them manage chronic pain.

Ontario's strategy to prevent addiction and overdose also includes: 

  • Designating Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, as Ontario's first-ever Provincial Overdose Coordinator to launch a new surveillance and reporting system to better respond to opioid overdoses in a timely manner and inform how best to direct care. 
  • Developing evidence-based standards for health care providers on appropriate opioid prescribing that will be released by end of 2017-18 to help prevent the unnecessary dispensing and over-prescribing of pain killers.
  • Delisting high-strength formulations of long-acting opioids from the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary starting January 1, 2017 to help prevent addiction and support appropriate prescribing.
  • Expanding access to naloxone overdose medication, available free of charge for patients and their families through pharmacies and eligible organizations to prevent overdose deaths.
  • Increasing access to Suboxone addiction treatment and improving patient outcomes and integration of care for those using this treatment.
  • Beginning October 1, 2016, stricter controls on the prescribing and dispensing of fentanyl patches took effect. Patients are now required to return used fentanyl patches to their pharmacy before more patches can be dispensed.

Ontario’s opioid strategy was informed by the recommendations of the Methadone Treatment and Services Advisory Committee, which was established by the province to advise on strengthening Ontario’s methadone treatment and related services. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Dr. Williams have written to all health care providers in Ontario outlining the strategy and enlisting their support to help prevent and reduce opioid addiction and overdose. The government will continue to seek input on the strategy and identify additional areas for consideration.

Modernizing pain management practices and preventing opioid addiction and overdose is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. The action plan provides patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to live healthy, and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.


“Opioid misuse is the third leading cause of accidental death in Ontario. Our comprehensive approach to this crisis will not only help save lives, but will enhance the lives of families and whole communities. Given the urgency of this issue, taking action now will have a real impact on opioid addiction and overdose.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Having lived with chronic pain myself for a number of years, I understand the struggle and importance of finding an individualized pain treatment plan. Hotel Dieu’s chronic pain clinic is essential to allowing individuals with chronic pain to live comfortably while decreasing opioid reliance. I appreciate the Ministry’s investment to expand this clinic’s program and further their research on understanding pain.”

Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands

“We’re very grateful to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for this funding, which will help us to build more comprehensive, interdisciplinary chronic pain management services to support the estimated 37 per cent of adults in our region who live with chronic pain. Expanding our interdisciplinary clinical team opens the way to providing multiple strategies for managing chronic pain and to creating very patient-specific treatment programs, which is vital in view of the complex nature of chronic pain.  And it will help to support our contribution to a national research effort identifying new treatments to manage and prevent chronic pain.”

Dr. David Pichora, Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Dieu Hospital



  • In 2014, over 700 people died in Ontario from opioid-related causes, a 266 per cent increase since 2002.
  • Kingston’s Hotel Dieu Hospital is receiving $1,655,219 this year from the Ontario Government to expand their chronic pain clinic
  • Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction. The risk of a fatal overdose on Suboxone is significantly less than with methadone.
  • The Methadone Treatment and Services Advisory Committee is comprised of addiction experts, experienced clinicians and patient advocates from across Ontario.
  • Ontario’s actions build on the 2012 expert working group report Stewardship for Prescription Narcotics in Ontario.
  • In fall 2016, public consultations will be held with families, caregivers, academics and health care providers, people with lived experience, among others, to seek input on the strategy and to identify additional important considerations. You can send your comments to:


▪       Patients First Action Plan

▪       Mental Health Leadership Advisory Council Annual Report

▪       Final report of the Methadone Treatment and Services Advisory Committee

Media Contacts:

Nicole Honderich
Constituency Office Manager
MPP Sophie Kiwala, Kingston and the Islands
Tel: (613)547-2385 | Fax (613) 547-5001

Anne Rutherford
Public Relations Specialist
Hotel Dieu Hospital
613-544-3310 ext. 3380

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