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The rising use of prescription opioids has led to public health implications of increased rates of opioid overdoses. In particular, rates of opioid-related deaths have increased dramatically over the past two decades, largely occurring in young adults. This presentation will review emerging trends in prescription opioid use, overdose and death in Ontario, describe the impact that government policy has had on shifting these trends, and highlight the potential public health burden of opioid overdose in Ontario.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
Presenter: Tara Gomes
Tara Gomes is an epidemiologist and Principal Investigator of the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN). She is also a Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Her research is focused on pharmacoepidemiology, drug safety and drug policy research leveraging large, administrative databases. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and over 50 policy reports in this area.
She has worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES) to develop evidence to inform policies related to opioid use and abuse in Ontario and more broadly across Canada. She has also served as an expert for the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Transportation in discussions related to opioid policies and regulations. In 2014, the ODPRN was awarded the Institute for Public Administration of Canada’s Bronze Public Sector Leadership Award in Health and Education.
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