Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

MSH: Ethics at the Intersection of Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse- Brown Bag Ethics Lunch (BBEL)

December 5, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Chronic pain is poorly treated and long-term opioid therapy is a common approach. A dramatic increase in opioid prescribing rates starting in the 1990s led to widespread problems with their use. In response, leading organizations implemented prescribing guidelines where some patients experienced a ‘forced’ tapering of opioids. This resulted in increased harms including some pain sufferers accessing opioids from the illicit market. These outcomes, together with the structural determinants of health and a toxic drug supply, led to an overdose crisis and one of North America’s worst public health emergencies. In this talk, Dr. Daniel Z. Buchman and Dr. Abhimanyu Sud, will explore the moral arguments advanced by members of the pharmaceutical industry that helped to accelerate the initial phase of overdose crisis; how framings of addiction as a brain disease are in tension with pain management involving opioids; and how widely adopted clinical and health policy tools in response to the crisis may further intensify stigma.


  1. Describe the history moral argument in the origin and perpetuation of the contemporary opioid crisis.
  2. Critically assess the framing of addiction as a brain disease.
  3. Evaluate the role of stigma in opioid crisis clinical and policy responses.

The Ethics at the Intersection of Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse BBEL is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


December 5, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Cassandra Mackey


14th floor Classroom, 600 University
600 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X5
+ Google Map