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1CN ON: Health Unit, Clinic Support Prescribing HeroinWed, 15 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/15/2017

Ottawa's health unit supports prescribing heroin to treat severe addicts and at least one treatment clinic is considering it as the city fights the rising rates of overdoses from it and similar opioid drugs.

"We really see it as more an extension of our opiate substitution therapy program than part of our supervised injection efforts," said Rob Boyd, the head of the drug-treatment programs at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre on Rideau Street. Boyd has been leading the charge to add an injection site to the centre's existing methadone clinic.

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2 CN BC: Heroin Concept Garners AttentionFri, 24 Feb 2017
Source:Peace Arch News (CN BC) Author:Diakiw, Kevin Area:British Columbia Lines:111 Added:02/25/2017

A public suggestion by the provincial coroner to provide heroin to addicts is turning some heads.

The comments by chief coroner Lisa Lapointe last week came after it was learned 116 people in this province died of overdoses from illicit drugs in January.

It's widely believed the deaths are a result of fentanyl, a drug 100 times stronger than morphine.

Lapointe said the people who have died haven't been successful in a variety of treatment programs.

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3 CN BC: LTE: More Important Priorities Than Free HeroinThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Jamieson, N. F. Area:British Columbia Lines:30 Added:02/11/2017

Re: "Is free heroin the best route?" editorial, Feb. 7.

Most certainly. After free needles are provided to citizens with diabetes, everyone gets free legal drugs that are prescribed by physicians, B.C. parks are properly funded, citizens on disability get drugs free, the E&N is fully funded so passenger trains again run, a Malahat bypass is built, highways are properly maintained, ferries are free for everyone who lives on Vancouver Island, etc.

Until then, no free heroin should even be considered. People need to be responsible for the consequences of their actions.

N.F. Jamieson

Campbell River

[end]

4CN BC: OPED: It's Time That We Offered Prescription HeroinSun, 05 Feb 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:McAdam, Tasha Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/09/2017

The overdose crisis, especially in British Columbia, has become an issue of moral panic, and everyone is paying attention.

The B.C. Coroner's Report for 2016 revealed a shocking number of deaths from overdose - 914, which far surpassed previous records and is nearly three times the number of deaths from automobile collisions. This crisis impacts us all and it requires a radical shift in the ways all provinces provide health care.

Unfortunately, the human and financial toll continues to rise because we continue to view illicit substance use as a moral and criminal issue rather than the healthcare issue it is. As a health-care social worker on the front line, I am lending my voice to those with substance-use disorders, the ostracized and overlooked.

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5 CN BC: Liberal MP Seeks A Frank Debate On Legal HeroinThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:134 Added:02/09/2017

Vancouver's Hedy Fry differs from the prime minister on where the national dialogue on fentanyl should go

In 1999, Dr. Hedy Fry flew to Switzerland to learn about how the European country had responded to a surge in drug-overdose deaths.

"I travelled around with the police," the Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre recounted in a telephone interview. If they found someone addicted to drugs who was injecting on the street, Fry continued, the police would stop and offer to take the individual to a clinic where there were a doctor and nurses.

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6CN BC: B.C. Health Officer Backs Prescription HeroinTue, 31 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Meissner, Dirk Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/04/2017

Prescribing medicinal heroin to prevent overdose deaths might appear to clash with common sense, but the provincial health officer in B.C. is backing the idea because he says European-style drug treatment programs work.

The arrival of the powerful opioid fentanyl drove B.C.'s death toll to a new peak last year of 914 overdose deaths, almost 80 per cent higher than the 510 deaths recorded by the provincial coroner in 2015.

Dr. Perry Kendall said he wants support from colleagues in health care and law enforcement to push the province to create treatment programs that prescribe a pharmaceutical-grade version of heroin, called diacetylmorphine. "It may be counterintuitive for people, but they have been shown to improve functioning, improve physical health, improve mental health," said Kendall. "They certainly get people out of illegal drug markets and many of those people have gone on to have relatively stable lives."

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7CN BC: OPED: Prescription Heroin Could Save LivesFri, 06 Jan 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Mulligan, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/07/2017

As of the end of November, 755 people had died of drug overdoses in B.C. Prescription heroin could greatly reduce this toll.

One of the principal reasons for the large number of overdose deaths has been the increasing presence of fentanyl, an opioid 100 times more powerful than heroin. Fentanyl is often substituted for, or added to, other illegal drugs.

A single envelope of pure fentanyl is enough to produce thousands of pills and tens of thousands of dollars in profit. One kilogram of fentanyl, which can be purchased online for less than $100,000, is enough to produce one million pills that can be sold for $20 each.

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8 CN BC: PUB LTE: Study Options For Prescription HeroinWed, 28 Dec 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Kuryk, Jeff Area:British Columbia Lines:42 Added:12/31/2016

Re: "Teen in suspected drug death 'honour student led astray,' " Dec. 27. As a retired psychologist, I'm trying to understand why so far this year about 755 human beings have died of overdoses in B.C.

I've observed that Grade "A" addicts live only to consume drugs such as fentanyl-laced heroin regardless of whether it might kill them. Many pay drug dealers with the proceeds of crime and leave a swath of victims, including those who love them, in their wake. Eventually, their self-destructive antics wear out those charged to help them, such as police, firefighters, paramedics, hospital staff, social workers and counsellors who eventually succumb to compassion fatigue. Though a courageous step, safe-injection sites appear to simply maintain this grisly status quo.

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9 CN BC: PUB LTE: Prescribed Heroin A Cheaper, Better SolutionWed, 21 Dec 2016
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Oliver, Doug Area:British Columbia Lines:28 Added:12/24/2016

Re: "New toxic drugs add to overdose crisis: coroner," Dec. 20. Is everyone involved in the management (or mismanagement) of this problem ignoring the one solution to this problem that has been effect in England for years?

It's called prescribed heroin for certified addicts. It has to be cheaper than all the emergency services that are being flung at it. It would certainly save lives. As yet, I haven't seen or heard of anyone in a position to effect change espousing the advantages of such a program. Surely it's worth a look.

Doug Oliver

Sooke

[end]

10 UK: Make Heroin Available On Prescription, Official UK Drug AdvisersMon, 12 Dec 2016
Source:Guardian, The (UK)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:80 Added:12/14/2016

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs also suggests supervised injecting rooms to combat rising number of drug deaths

Heroin on prescription and supervised injecting rooms are among a range of measures that the government's drug advisers have suggested to reverse the UK's soaring numbers of drug deaths.

Responding to a sharp rise in the number of heroin-related deaths in recent years, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said maintenance of drug treatment programmes was essential to prevent further increases.

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11 CN BC: Docs Say Prescription Heroin HelpsThu, 24 Nov 2016
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:137 Added:11/28/2016

This Christmas, Dianne Tobin will celebrate one year free of heroin. It will be the longest she's remained off the drug in 40 years.

"It's been touchy at times, because I went down [in dosage] so fast," she told the Georgia Straight over coffee in the Downtown Eastside. "It was tough at first, going down so much at one time. But it was working for me."

Tobin owes her success at getting off street heroin to an unconventional therapy: since the winter of 2011, a doctor has prescribed her diacetylmorphine, or prescription heroin.

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12 CN BC: Column: Prescription Heroin For Addiction Treatment In B.C.?Mon, 03 Oct 2016
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Mullins, Garth Area:British Columbia Lines:77 Added:10/08/2016

Columnists Brent Stafford and Garth Mullins battle over the issues of the day.

The Duel

Prescription heroin for addiction treatment in B.C.? It's about time

As hundreds die from fentanyl overdoses, Health Canada has ended Harper's ban on prescription heroin. And it's about time.

There's a fatal overdose every 12 hours in B.C. Over the years, I've had to resuscitate four people and known dozens who've died.

For people deep in addiction, medical treatment with heroin is much safer than adulterated, often-lethal street drugs. It reduces harm to the community too.

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13 CN BC: Column: Society Should Not Be Prescribing Or Providing HeroinMon, 03 Oct 2016
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Stafford, Brent Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:10/08/2016

The Duel

This Week's Topic: Should prescription heroin be made available for addiction treatment in B.C.?

Why does the left always fall in favour of making drugs more widely available to society? Social conservatives are certainly not the ones clamouring to legalize marijuana, drown citizens in more booze or readily handout heroin. What is it about the left? The only conclusion one could come to is the left's political and social agendas are somehow advanced by promoting a dulled, inebriated and wasted constituency. This is how the left prefers its voters.

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14 CN ON: PUB LTE: Heroin For PainSat, 03 Sep 2016
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Mazzacato, Stella Area:Ontario Lines:36 Added:09/06/2016

Re "In praise of heroin" (Dr. Gifford Jones, Aug. 27): I am currently fighting my fourth and (unfortunately) final battle with cancer. And, believe me, it scares me to think I will be refused heroin when the time comes that I need it. And all because some so-called minister of health for Ontario has decided, in his wisdom, that doctors can no longer prescribe high doses of opioids to terminal cancer patients or addicts. Further, the statement by an official that "the vast majority of palliative patients will not be impacted by this policy" leaves me wondering why he holds this position, when we all know the first requirement to being a good doctor is having a heart for people. Shame on this unnamed minister of health for Ontario. He should be drummed out of office, post haste.

Stella Mazzacato Mississauga



(Turning a blind eye to drug use by prisoners while denying heroin to terminally ill patients for pain makes no sense. This policy needs to be reversed)

[end]

15 CN AB: Column: Heroin Has Role As PainkillerThu, 25 Aug 2016
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Gifford-Jones, W. Area:Alberta Lines:91 Added:08/30/2016

Why cancer patients will suffer to protect the lives of addicts

How history repeats itself! Today, politicians are once again ignoring the pain of terminal cancer patients. At the same time they are shooting themselves in the foot by making illogical remarks about pain. This human folly takes me back 37 years.

In January 1979, I wrote a New Year's resolution in this column to petition the government to legalize medical heroin to ease the agony of terminal cancer patients. I knew that heroin had been used in English hospitals for 90 years, so why not have this painkiller available in North America? But rather than being applauded for my compassion, all hell broke loose.

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16 CN AB: Column: In Praise Of HeroinSat, 27 Aug 2016
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB) Author:Gifford-Jones, W. Area:Alberta Lines:99 Added:08/29/2016

High-Dose Opiods Ease Dying Patients' Suffering

How history repeats itself! Today, politicians are once again ignoring the pain of terminal cancer patients. At the same time they are shooting themselves in the foot by making illogical remarks about pain. This human folly takes me back 37 years.

In January 1979, I wrote a New Year's resolution in this column to petition the government to legalize medical heroin to ease the agony of terminal cancer patients. I knew that heroin had been used in English hospitals for 90 years, so why not have this painkiller available in North America? But rather than being applauded for my compassion, all hell broke loose.

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17 CN ON: Column: In Praise Of HeroinSat, 27 Aug 2016
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Gifford-Jones, W. Area:Ontario Lines:97 Added:08/28/2016

High-Dose Opiods Ease Dying Patients' Suffering

How history repeats itself! Today, politicians are once again ignoring the pain of terminal cancer patients. At the same time they are shooting themselves in the foot by making illogical remarks about pain. This human folly takes me back 37 years.

In January 1979, I wrote a New Year's resolution in this column to petition the government to legalize medical heroin to ease the agony of terminal cancer patients. I knew that heroin had been used in English hospitals for 90 years, so why not have this painkiller available in North America? But rather than being applauded for my compassion, all hell broke loose.

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18 Mexico: 40 Times Stronger Than Heroin, Fentanyl Enriches DrugFri, 10 Jun 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ahmed, Azam Area:Mexico Lines:190 Added:06/10/2016

MEXICO CITY - The drug that killed Prince has become a favorite of Mexican cartels because it is extremely potent, popular in the United States - and immensely profitable, American officials say.

Law enforcement and border authorities in the United States warn that Mexican cartels are using their own labs to produce the drug, fentanyl, as well as receiving shipments from China. Then the cartels distribute the substance through their vast smuggling networks to meet rising American demand for opiates and pharmaceuticals.

"It is really the next migration of the cartels in terms of making profit," said Jack Riley, acting deputy administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. "This goes to the heart of the marketing genius of the cartels. They saw this coming."

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19CN BC: Doctor-Prescribed Heroin Gets Green Light From B.C.Mon, 16 May 2016
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Crawford, Tiffany Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/17/2016

Health officials in B.C. are applauding the federal government for taking steps to allow doctors to prescribe heroin for certain patients.

Health Canada said Friday it will propose a regulatory amendment to allow access to prescription heroin, or diacetylmorphine, under Health Canada's special-access program.

"A significant body of scientific evidence supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine, also known as pharmaceutical-grade heroin, for the treatment of chronic relapsing opioid dependence," Health Canada said in a release.

Diacetylmorphine is permitted in other countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland, to support a small number of patients who haven't responded to other treatment options.

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20CN BC: Health Canada To Allow Access To Medical HeroinMon, 16 May 2016
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Crawford, Tiffany Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/17/2016

Health officials in B.C. are applauding the federal government for taking steps to allow doctors to prescribe heroin for certain patients.

Health Canada announced Friday that it will propose a regulatory amendment to allow access to prescription heroin, or diacetylmorphine, under Health Canada's special access program.

"A significant body of scientific evidence supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine, also known as pharmaceutical-grade heroin, for the treatment of chronic relapsing opioid dependence," Health Canada said in a news release.

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