Sunday, April 16, 2017
Case of Emergency
Can pot stop the opioid crisis?
Dr. Ira Price thinks so
Tracy Lamourie, Lamourie PR
Dr. Ira Price says it was his work in the Emergency Department - and the
devastation he sees there on a daily basis – that led him to cannabinoid
He describes seeing patients
coming to the ER in acute withdrawal, after an acute ingestion, or
requesting early refills for what was once their physician prescribed
"As an ER physician, I am unfortunately faced with dying patients daily whom
I can offer little more then comfort in their final moments," said Doctor
Price. "I am also confronted with patients who come off the street already
dead. As a human, as an active member in society, I have a vested interest
in living. I believe I have a responsibility to help and educate people in
areas where death can be avoided and in my mind, one of the most avoidable
deaths is proactively educating both health care professionals and the
general public on safe and effective alternatives to opioids, and one of
these alternative's with great potential is Cannabis."
Doctor says that in his experience, the number one reason that patients come
to the ER is because of various forms of pain. "Emergency Physicians and
pain clinics in general are experts at managing acute and chronic pain. Yet,
our armament is stocked with medications that can, in the long-term, chronic
setting potentially cause more harm then good.
In the acute setting opioids
might very well be required for a short duration of time and in appropriate
dosing but we know that under the age of 45, 1-in-8 deaths is attributed to
narcotics and in the population greater then 65-years-old, nearly everyone
will have a serious side effect to their opioid. So, at Synergy, we
prescribe a safer alternative for those we believe will benefit - Cannabis.
We help people decrease their opioids."
When asked about the results
he sees, Dr Price says, "My patients arehappy! They are functional, they are
re-integrated into society. Often times, they go back to work, their
families are happy and their relationships are rekindled. This reintegration
into society, has a positive impact on all aspects of life. It helps the
economy, it helps families and it helps the individual. This is the
accomplishment that I feel. It's a shared experience."
Wikipedia and Linked In photos: Cannabis indica fluid extract, American
Druggists Syndicate, pre-1937.
About Ira Price
Dr. Ira Price is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of
Emergency Medicine through the Department of Internal Medicine at McMaster
University. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
trained in Emergency Medicine, with a Fellowship in Sports Medicine. Dr.
Price is internationally known for his leadership in the clinical
application of cannabinoids.
The founder of the Medical
Cannabis Journal Club of Hamilton, Dr. Price also opened Synergy
Health Services, a groundbreaking clinic that was the first in Ontario
dedicated solely to evaluating patients for the use of medical cannabis.
Relying on evidence-based principles, Dr. Price developed an effective
clinical pathway for the evaluation of patients. He is also the Medical
Director of a federally approved Licensed Producer and assisted in the
development of their SOPs and regulatory standards. He is the creator of the
Price Protocol (named by another doctor) for dosing cannabis used by
physicians around the country.
His dedication and forward thinking on the use of cannabinoids in medicine
has been recognized in Canada and abroad, and Dr. Price has lectured
countless physicians around the world on the topic. Dr. Price's extensive
knowledge and varied expertise in different aspects of the cannabis market
makes him an authority on the medical cannabis industry, and his ability to
forecast and analyze the Cannabis market has proven to be of great value to
A practicing ER who also works in sports medicine, Dr. Ira Price's history
gives him a unique perspective. He can speak on everything from how cannabis
can be used as a form of harm reduction in patients with opioid addiction,
to how his work in the emergency room turned him to work in cannabinoids, to
sports and whether cannabis use should disqualify athletes (it should not!)
to his experiences educating other doctors around the world on the
prescription of cannabinoids.
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