Pubdate: Fri, 20 Oct 2017
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Times Colonist
Author: Matthew M. Elrod
Page: A17


Re: "Opioid deaths rising, yet drug use tolerated," letter, Oct. 17.

The letter-writer hypothesized that the opioid-overdose epidemic is a
consequence of increased use, stemming from our tolerance of drug use,
as demonstrated by supervised-injection sites and homeless shelters.

In reality, the most significant driver of increased opioid use has
been opioid prescriptions. The spike in overdose deaths has been
caused by the introduction of fentanyl and other potent synthetic
opioids into the illicit-drug supply.

There has never been a fatal overdose at a supervised-injection site,
although many have been averted. There is no evidence that
supervised-injection sites encourage, perpetuate or "enable" drug use.
On the contrary, injection sites shepherd drug users into detox and
treatment. Vancouver's Insite, for example, shares a building with a
detox clinic called Onsite.

Perhaps we should leave life-and-death theorizing to public-health
professionals who are familiar with the literature on the subject.

Matthew M. Elrod

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MAP posted-by: Matt