Sunday, April 16, 2017 



In Case of Emergency

Can pot stop the opioid crisis? Dr. Ira Price thinks so

Tracy Lamourie, Lamourie PR


amilton's 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 medicine.


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 medication.

"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."

The 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 industry stakeholders.

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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