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1 CN BC: Pot Advocate Preaches At PrestigeFri, 17 Mar 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Will Area:British Columbia Lines:96 Added:03/17/2017

He wants people to plant cannabis in public places.

Notorious pot activist Dana Larsen was in Nelson on Tuesday evening, and during his talk at the Prestige Lakeside Resort he distributed envelopes that included Ziploc bags containing CBD-rich cannabis seeds.

"By giving away these seeds and encouraging people to plant them in public places like traffic circles, in front of city hall and police stations or on their own property, I want to normalize the cultivation of cannabis," he said during his talk, which was attended by approximately 40 people.

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2 CN ON: Column: Prescribing A Solution To Opioid AddictionThu, 16 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Reevely, David Area:Ontario Lines:126 Added:03/16/2017

City health authorities considering heroin to treat addicts

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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3CN 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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4CN BC: 'No Time To Stop' The Fight Against OpioidsSun, 05 Mar 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/08/2017

Community activist is saving overdose victims from dying in the back alleys of the Downtown Eastside

It takes 15 minutes to walk the short distance across the street market at Hastings and Columbia with Sarah Blyth, a volunteer with the Overdose Prevention Society.

Everyone in this small, grungy Vancouver parking lot wants the ear of the woman at the front line of the fentanyl crisis in the Downtown Eastside.

Blyth founded the OPS last fall with others who had grown sick of people dying in laneways after using tainted drugs.

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5 CN BC: PM Attends Roundtable On Opioid CrisisSat, 04 Mar 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:03/06/2017

Attendees at the meeting urged Trudeau to consider extra funding and expanded access to injectable opioid treatment

Canada's Prime Minister and Minister of Defence met with people on the front lines of B.C.'s overdose crisis on Friday, listening as they spoke candidly about the urgent need to scale up treatment options, the province's record death toll and the emotional impact it's had on first responders.

But while those who attended the meeting in the Downtown Eastside clinic said the visit by Justin Trudeau and Harjit Sajjan was appreciated and deeply meaningful, the Prime Minister offered no promises on specific requests, such as dedicated funding for, and reduced barriers to, heroin-assisted treatment.

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6CN ON: Test Strips Let Users See If They've Been Exposed To FentanylSat, 04 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Gillis, Megan Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2017

AIDS committee hopes to use results for study

A project launched this week by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa is offering urine test strips that reveal to people who have used drugs whether they've been unwittingly exposed to the powerful opioid fentanyl.

"We're hoping to give community members a free and simple way to find out whether or not they've been exposed to fentanyl through recent substance use and we're also hoping, if we can, to collect a bit of data on what those results might be," ACO harm reduction coordinator Caleb Chepesiuk said.

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7 CN BC: VPD Uses Naloxone For First Time To Reverse Drug OverdoseThu, 02 Mar 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Howell, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:113 Added:03/06/2017

Officer used the nasal spray form of the drug inside Rogers Arena

A Vancouver police officer working at a Vancouver Canucks hockey game has become the first member of the department to use the overdose-reversing drug naloxone on an overdose victim.

Staff Sgt. Bill Spearn of the VPD's organized crime section said the officer was working with a partner Dec. 28 at a Canucks game at Rogers Arena and noticed a commotion outside one of the gates involving a man who collapsed on the ground.

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8 CN BC: Column: Federal Health Minister Talks Legalization, InjectionThu, 02 Mar 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Howell, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:86 Added:03/06/2017

t's always nice to hear from the person in charge when you have questions about what he or she is going to do to address a problem affecting a large number of people.

You may not always like the answers - or get a straight answer, for that matter - but still, it's something, right?

That person in charge: Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott

The problem - more of an epidemic, really: the overdose death crisis that killed 922 people in 2016, not the widely reported 914 as yours truly and others have written for more than a month. (Toxicology test results of suspected drug overdose victims continue to confirm more bad news.)

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9 CN BC: OPED: Perspectives On The Drug Overdose Crisis In BCWed, 01 Mar 2017
Source:BC Medical Journal (CN BC) Author:Tyndal, Mark Area:British Columbia Lines:86 Added:03/06/2017

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 2, March 2017, page(s) 89 BC Centre for Disease Control Mark W. Tyndall, MD, ScD, FRCPC

British Columbia is in the midst of a public health crisis, with 914 documented overdose deaths in 2016. While there has been a steady increase in overdose deaths over the past 2 years, December 2016 had the highest monthly total of deaths ever recorded (128 deaths).[1] This is particularly alarming as it is happening despite a public health emergency announcement in April 2016 and a massive scale-up of the take-home naloxone program that has been used in over 3000 overdose reversals.

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10 CN BC: Expert Calls For 'Scaled Up' Approach To Opioid CrisisFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Ball, David P. Area:British Columbia Lines:70 Added:03/06/2017

Disease control director says more should be prescribed

One of British Columbia's top experts on diseases has slammed longstanding "drug policies that criminalize drug users," in an op-ed in the B.C. Medical Journal's new issue, and pushed for the expansion of government-prescribed opioids.

Dr. Mark Tyndall, provincial medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, wrote about the province's opioid overdose epidemic, which has killed almost 1,000 people in the last year "despite a public-health emergency announcement in April 2016."

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11CN AB OPED: Naloxone Alone Will Not Be Enough To Address The OpioidFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Magnussen, Hazel        Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2017

Complex problems call for multi-faceted solutions, Hazel Magnussen writes.

Canada faces a major public health crisis as people continue to die from opioid overdoses. Measures to save lives present new challenges and divert attention from preventive measures to tackle the problem's root causes.

According to Dr. David Jurlink, head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, increased prescriptions for narcotic pain killers contributed to the crisis. Once prescribed only for acute pain, narcotic pain killers were being used for chronic pain until "the culture of prescribing opioids began to shift." Patients who become addicted to prescription medications may resort to illicit street drugs. (CBC News, Dec. 24, 2016).

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12CN ON: OPED: Let's Boost Addictions TreatmentFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:White, Vern Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2017

The rich can afford it but the poor are left waiting, writes Sen. Vern White.

Much has been written about the addiction problem facing Canadians, and there's good information provided by teen and Health Canada on the challenges Canadians face.

According to statistics on these two websites, approximately two per cent of Canadians over the age of 15 say they have suffered personal harm as a result of illicit drug abuse, and 47,000 Canadian deaths (this includes more than overdose deaths) are linked to substance abuse annually. The numbers are growing.

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13 CN BC: PM Won't Widen Decriminalization Of DrugsFri, 03 Mar 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hunter, Justine Area:British Columbia Lines:99 Added:03/06/2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is rejecting recommendations from British Columbia's top health officials to widen the scope of his government's decriminalization agenda beyond marijuana to help stem the country's growing opioid crisis.

Mr. Trudeau will meet Friday with health experts in Vancouver to discuss Canada's response to the rising toll of overdose deaths, the latest in a series of meetings where he has engaged with British Columbians on the front lines of the deadly opioid battle.

The Prime Minister quietly met with first responders in the Downtown Eastside last December. At that time, British Columbia was tallying its worst year for drug overdoses and in January, his government promised $10 million in additional health funding for B.C. to boost its response to a fentanyl-fuelled epidemic.

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14 CN ON: Column: Criminalization Of Opioids Is Costing LivesThu, 02 Mar 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Cole, Desmond Area:Ontario Lines:93 Added:03/06/2017

Two weeks ago, 28-year-old Pierre Gregoire died after a fatal drug overdose in the washroom of a downtown restaurant

When I worked at a drop-in centre for youth over a decade ago, our staff carried keys to the facility's washrooms at all times. We were always prepared for the possibility that young people we served might lock themselves in the washrooms to get high, particularly by using opioid drugs, and fall unconscious due to an overdose.

The youth we served didn't want to be seen using opioids - mere possession of the stuff is criminal, and the added stigma of injecting drugs compelled them to get high in the most secluded and therefore dangerous places. It's encouraging that Toronto has finally approved supervised injection sites so people who use opiate can do so more safely. But our country still hasn't dealt with the larger issue of drug criminalization, which keeps people who need support in fear and in hiding.

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15CN AB: Expert Calls Treatment Of Opioid Addicts OutdatedWed, 01 Mar 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Kaufmann, Bill Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2017

Canada's use of methadone to treat fentanyl and other opioid abuse is dangerous and outdated, says a substance-abuse expert gathered with others in Banff mapping out addiction strategies.

Canada should follow other countries, including the U.S., that have moved toward using another drug, buprenorphine/naloxone to manage opioid addiction, said Dr. Cam Wild of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.

"Canada has fallen behind other countries in treatment - in many places, Suboxone is the first line of care," said Wild, using buprenorphine/naloxone's brand name.

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16 CN ON: LTE: Don't Do DrugsWed, 01 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Day, Don Area:Ontario Lines:35 Added:03/06/2017

There has been a lot of sad news about the misuse of drugs with the recent deaths of two teenage girls in Ottawa. Our hearts go out to the families involved. The theme seems to be that they were teenage mistakes. This begs the question of why would teenagers even consider taking drugs?

I know this is a sensitive issue, but with the push to set up safe-drug-injection sites, and our prime minister being anxious to fulfill his promise to young Canadians to legalize marijuana, am I wrong in suggesting that Canada is basically encouraging the use of drugs and ignoring the problems associated with drug use?

Don Day


(It does seem like caution and responsibility are being forgotten in some instances. All these deaths are tragedies.)


17 CN BC: Surrey Overdose-Site Plans To Be ReviewedTue, 28 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:91 Added:03/04/2017

The Health Minister has asked the Fraser Health CEO to look into potential barriers for the supervised-consumption project

British Columbia's Health Minister has asked the chief executive officer of the Fraser Health Authority to review the plans for two "overdose-prevention sites" announced for Surrey after The Globe and Mail reported they do not exist yet.

The Globe reported on Monday that rather than open the two sites, as ordered by Health Minister Terry Lake in early December, the Fraser Health Authority opted to expand services such as outreach and shelter hours at existing facilities.

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18 CN BC: Surrey 'Hotspot' Lacks Overdose-Prevention SitesMon, 27 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:155 Added:03/04/2017

The first time Donna May walked down the stretch of road known as the Surrey Strip, she felt afraid. The Mississauga resident had never before seen such a concentration of drug use: 50 or 60 people, sickness and addiction - a sense of desperation jarring against the backdrop of a sunny winter's day. She remembered that no one was smiling.

"It was like walking from one world into another," Ms. May said of that day in January, 2012, on 135A Street, the quiet stretch in the Fraser Valley city that has become a semi-permanent homeless encampment rife with drug use.

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19 CN BC: Substance Users Lose A Devoted AdvocateSat, 25 Feb 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Brait, Ellen Area:British Columbia Lines:122 Added:02/27/2017

A celebration of Balian's life to be held Saturday afternoon

Raffi Balian, a fierce advocate for harm reduction and the rights of drug users, died on Feb.16 in Vancouver, according to the B.C. Coroners Service. He was 60 years old.

Balian was attending a national meeting about supervised drug consumption services at the time. He died from an "accidental overdose," according to a release from the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, but the B.C. Coroners Service said a definite cause of death has not yet been determined.

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20 CN BC: Groups Demand Opening Of Bridge Street Injection SiteFri, 24 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wong, Kendra Area:British Columbia Lines:74 Added:02/25/2017

When Jack Phillips looks at the empty parking lot at 2920 Bridge St. in Rock Bay, he sees endless possibilities.

It could be transformed into a garden, a bike shop or an area for people to bring their dogs. But most importantly, he sees a community harm reduction health centre and a supervised injection site by and for people who use drugs.

Phillips is a street outreach coordinator and naloxone trainer with SOLID, an organization that provides support and education to drug users in Victoria. Now, Phillips, along with SOLID and other community groups, are calling on the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the City of Victoria to open a supervised injection site on Bridge Street to combat the growing number of overdoses in the province.

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