Structural Drivers of Iatrogenic Opioid Misuse in Alberta First Nations

Understanding Prescibing Patterns to Address Medicine's Role in the Opioid Crisis

Rita Henderson, PhD

Lindsay Crowshoe, MD

Bonnie Healy, RN

Heather Amrson, MD

Maria Santana, PhD

Jennifer Leason, PhD

This research project aims to strengthen Alberta First Nation capacity to not only describe major sources of iatrogenic (i.e., relating to healthcare) opioid misuse around their communities, but to support First Nations in mobilizing such knowledge for greater health system accountability to Indigenous communities. 

This project will unfold in two phases:

Phase 1 - Develop baseline/descriptive knowledge and consensus across patient and prescriber groups around social and systemic factors that drive opioid prescribing in an Indigenous contexts. Anticipated key outcomes of this phase aim to 1) describe social, political, and systematic factors influencing iatrogenic opioid misuse in Alberta First Nations, and 2) equip First Nations with evidence-informed tools for mobilizing health system and professional organization stakeholders to address non-cancer prescription opioid misuse. 


Phase 2  - Design, pilot, implement, evaluate, and integrate one or more Indigenous-driven interventions for influencing health providers towards responsible opioid prescribing and dispensing to Indigenous patients.