These are some news articles regarding a topic we have been following.
Managed opioid program to open in response to fentanyl crisis
Published on: August 4, 2017
ELIZABETH PAYNE, OTTAWA CITIZEN
As a fentanyl crisis sweeps the country, medical officials in Ottawa are moving quickly and quietly to open a supervised injection site for opioid users.
The opioid substitution program, which will be the only the second of its kind in Canada, is expected to formally begin in September at the Shepherds of Good Hope in the ByWard Market area.
While attention in this city has been focused on a recently approved supervised-injection site for illegal drug users, officials with Inner City Health have been planning the managed opioid program, which will open first.
Toronto mulls accelerated response to opioid-related deaths
Published on: August 4, 2017
JUSTIN GIOVANNETTI, THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Toronto is considering fast-tracking the opening of three supervised drug-use sites and will ask some police officers to carry a life-saving antidote to fentanyl after a spate of deaths linked to tainted street drugs over the past week.
Public-health officials across the country have warned for months that authorities in Toronto should be prepared for the appearance of powerful illicit painkillers that led to the deaths of thousands of Canadians over the past two years.
The deaths, starting in Alberta and British Columbia, have moved east across the Prairies as potent opioids have been inexpertly mixed with street drugs, yielding lethal cocktails.
First Nations people three times more likely to die of overdoses in B.C.
Published on: August 3, 2017
ANDREA WOO, THE GLOBE AND MAIL
First Nations people in British Columbia are five times more likely to experience a drug overdose – and three times more likely to die from one – than non-First Nations people, according to a new report providing the first empirical look at how the overdose crisis is affecting Indigenous communities.
First Nations people, who make up 3.4 per cent of B.C.’s population, account for 14 per cent of all overdoses and 10 per cent of overdose deaths, the report found. First Nations women are particularly hard hit, experiencing eight times more overdoses – and five times more fatal overdoses – than non-First Nations women.
Heroin injection sites perpetuate harm: Opposing view
Published on: May 17, 2017
JOHN P. WALTERS, USA TODAY
There are no “safe heroin injection sites.” The only “safe” approach to heroin is not to take it. For addicts, the humane public health response is to help them get and stay sober, or at the very least, opioid replacement therapy in sustained treatment. Any approach without these goals is cruel and dehumanizing — not healing, but perpetuating harm.
Addiction is a treatable disease. Millions of Americans are in recovery — living healthy, productive lives. Supporting addicts’ heroin use maintains their disease, administering the poison that causes their illness and diminishes their lives. A government-approved place for unlimited heroin injection creates the conditions for never-ending addiction and gives government a drug dealer’s power over the addicted.