The Cycle of Addiction and Challenges of the Opioid Crisis: A Perspective from an Emergency Doctor


October 4, 2018 :: Dr. Sean Wilde MD, CCFP-EM
Moderated by Mark Goettel

As our city continues to grapple with a growing crisis of drug abuse and seeks solutions to address addiction and its associated negative effects on the community, it may be helpful to take a step back and review some of the root causes of addiction and why this insidious disease is so challenging to treat.
From the perspective of someone who has worked in the local emergency department during the onset and evolution of the current opioid crisis, we look at some of the challenges experienced and insights gained in working with this high-risk population. Recurrent patterns of self-destructive behavior in the face of compounding negative personal consequences underscores the impaired ability to make rational choices that is the hallmark of addiction. The collateral effects of all manner of substance addictions continue to cause tremendous harm to users, their families, and the surrounding community, both in visibly drug abusing populations, and in those with a less visible substance abuse problem.
Understanding the factors that predispose to addiction and the personal and socioeconomic conditions that impair efforts for meaningful recovery can point towards paradigms to guide future community-based approaches to managing this complex and pervasive problem. Negative impacts on the community such as crime, violence and discarded drug paraphernalia can be seen in this context as symptoms of the greater problem that cannot be adequately addressed without a concerted effort to tackle the underlying contributors to addiction and barriers to recovery. This will continue to require the cooperative efforts of multiple community stake holders, levels of government, local experts in their respective fields and will not come with quick or simple solutions.

Speakers: Dr. Sean Wilde MD, CCFP-EM

Sean Wilde grew up in small town central Alberta, and later moved to Lethbridge where he began university studies and met his future wife. He graduated from U of L in 2003 with a degree in biochemistry, and later attended medical school at University of Calgary, graduating in the class of 2009. He completed family medicine residency training in U of C's Rural Family Medicine program, where he trained in Lethbridge and several surrounding rural communities. This was followed by one year of additional residency training in Emergency Medicine in the City of Calgary. He currently works in the Emergency Department at Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge where he has been working since July of 2012. He lives in Lethbridge with his wife and three children who keep him busy when he is not working.

Moderator: Mark Goettel

Date: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Time: Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm
Location: Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge
Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required


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