Christine Leong


Dr. Leong is an Assistant Professor at the College of Pharmacy with a cross appointment at the Department of Psychiatry. She is a clinical pharmacist (PharmD from the University of Toronto and BScPharm from the University of Manitoba) and has practiced in both hospital and primary care settings. Dr. Leong has previously designed and published population-based research on psychotropic medications, including benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and opioids. Dr. Leong is a member of the Adult Inquest Committee at the Medical Examiners Office and the Health Professional Education Opioid Use and Opioid Use Disorder Advisory Committee. Dr. Leong has contributed to providing education on opioids, polypharmacy, and overdose risk to pharmacists and pharmacy students.

Node Funded Project (December 2020)

Title: Substance use and outcomes in Manitoba

Principal Investigator: Christine Leong, University of Manitoba


Dr. Erin Knight, Dr. Tracie Afifi, Dr. Tamara Taillieu


This project will lay the foundation to be competitive for long-term funding at a national and international level. It is anticipated that through linkage of the AFM dataset to a large repository of administrative data, we will be able to apply for future funding through CIHR, Research Manitoba, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to describe patterns of substance and polysubstance use, quantify contacts with the healthcare system, examine the real-world impact of existing programs, identify populations at highest risk of overdose and death, and inform policies likely to have an impact on this area in the future. Funding applications will include, but are not limited to CIHR Project Grant, Research Manitoba Team Grant, NIH, and AFSP Research Innovation Grant. SUD is a complex and multifaceted problem and little is known about many of the substances used and their impact on long-term outcomes. There is a need for large representative data on substance use disorder and outcomes. This study will improve our knowledge of SUD and treatment services in Manitoba and will lay the foundation for future research that aims to examine patterns and impact of substance use from a population perspective. Administrative claims data provide a valuable source for studying the use of drugs and long-term health and social outcomes from a population perspective. However, data on non-prescription medication and recreational/illicit drug use is limited or nonexistent in these databases. The intake, discharge, and follow-up surveys from AFM contain self-reported information on prescription, non-prescription, and recreational/illicit drug use, which has not yet been linked to the administrative databases at MCHP. Moreover, these surveys contain information on youth and pregnant women, who are often underrepresented in the literature in regards to SUD. Therefore, this study will be the first step to describing the population with SUD who sought treatment in Manitoba and to linking information on SUD to long-term outcomes, which will be studied in the future. It is anticipated that the present study will contribute important information for the development of public policy, practice guidance, and educational programs for healthcare providers aimed at effectively identifying and caring for patients who may be at risk of SUD and overdose.

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