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1 CN NS: What Harm Reduction Really MeansTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Sullivan, Nikki Area:Nova Scotia Lines:59 Added:09/19/2017

Harm reduction is one kind of treatment approach for helping people with substance abuse disorders and it can be confusing for people not familiar with it.

"Sometimes people think it's abstinence versus harm reduction but that isn't true," said Laura Chapman, health promotion specialist with Mental Health and Addiction Services.

"Harm reduction absolutely includes abstinence."

Chapman and many other clinical therapists, counsellors and other professionals working directly with people suffering from substance abuse disorders feel harm reduction is an important tool.

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2 CN AB: A Prickly IssueSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:117 Added:09/08/2017

Discarded needles in the spotlight as Edmonton tackles overdose crisis, safe injection sites

Cardboard boxes filled with syringes fill every nook and cranny of the Streetworks office at Boyle Street Community Services.

They're stacked on top of cabinets, in corners and underneath a table in the centre of the brightly lit office. Unboxed sharps, wrapped in plastic, are stored in bins along a counter where people who use drugs can pick up clean supplies.

The boxes go "wherever we can stuff them," said Marliss Taylor, program manager at Streetworks. Last year, the service distributed a record two-and-a-quarter million syringes through its needle exchange van and exchange sites throughout the city. The goal, Taylor said, is to "flood the market" with clean needles, reducing the health impacts of intravenous drug use.

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3CN AB: Researchers Outline Plan To Study Impact Of Injection SitesFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Gerein, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2017

Public health researchers behind Edmonton's effort to develop supervised drug consumption sites say they have a plan to study how the yet-to-be-approved facilities affect both clients and communities.

Assuming the four sites win approval from Health Canada and begin operating, a robust evaluation process will be needed to gauge the benefits and residents' reactions to the facilities, the researchers said in a new report.

The evaluation will be conducted by the University of Alberta's School of Public Health, with Elaine Hyshka serving as the lead.

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4 CN ON: OPED: Ontario Must Declare An Opioid EmergencyTue, 29 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Rai, Nanky Area:Ontario Lines:89 Added:08/31/2017

It is not enough to move slowly while people are losing their loved ones, family members, friends, colleagues and patients from preventable deaths

More than 700 harm-reduction workers, nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, public health officials and others working within our health-care system, from 59 different cities and towns in Ontario, have signed a letter calling on the provincial government to declare an immediate emergency in response to opioid overdoses and related deaths in Ontario.

The Ontario provincial government has been slow and ineffectual in its response to the deaths of Ontarians from the opioid crisis. Drug users and their allies have been left to respond to the recent opioid crisis alone, without sufficient funding or support. Appallingly, the most recent data available for Ontario is from 2016. It showed that opioid deaths jumped 11 per cent in the first half of 2016. For those on the front lines, it is evident that the current rate of opioid-related deaths is exceeding the mid-2016 estimate of two deaths per day and the rate of emergency department opioid-related visits has risen dramatically. This crisis has impacted people all across the province, including in northern Ontario.

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5CN BC: Marijuana Can Help Curb Opioid Use, Study FindsThu, 24 Aug 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Robinson, Matt Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/25/2017

A Nanaimo-based researcher has found medicinal cannabis can reduce or prevent opioid use and can even offer addicts an exit strategy.

In an academic paper published this month in the Harm Reduction Journal, Philippe Lucas concluded governments and health care providers should immediately implement "cannabis-based interventions" in the opioid overdose crisis.

For Lucas, years of research have rebutted government lines that cannabis is a "gateway drug" and have instead shown it can be an "exit drug" for problematic substance use.

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6 CN MB: No Plans For Safe Injection Site: WRHAWed, 23 Aug 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Thorpe, Ryan Area:Manitoba Lines:83 Added:08/23/2017

THERE are no plans to open a supervised injection site in Winnipeg, a spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said in the wake of Toronto opening its first city-run space for people to inject illegal drugs.

Supervised injection sites are legal facilities where drug users are able to use intravenous substances under medical supervision. They have been a controversial harm-reduction strategy since the first North American site opened in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in 2003. Toronto opened its first official site Monday.

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7CN ON: OPED: Canada Should Decriminalize All DrugsTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Spratt, Michael Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

Jailing addicts does nothing to stop substance abuse, says Michael Spratt.

Last week, Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Isra Levy, pledged Ottawa Public Health's support for "new evidence-based approaches" to combat the problems caused by illegal drugs including - wait for it - decriminalization.

City Coun. Mathieu Fleury said, "It's a crazy thought, but it's a crazy thought that might actually have some merit."

Fleury should be commended. Where Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had cast off the shackles of evidence-based thinking to stand against the city's first safe consumption site, Fleury's open mindedness is a breath of fresh air.

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8 US NY: Report Reveals 'Safe House' Where Heroin Users Shoot Up UnderTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:92 Added:08/08/2017

NEW YORK -- A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

None were known to exist in the US until the disclosure in a medical journal, although several states and cities are pushing to establish these so-called supervised injection sites, where users can shoot up under the care of trained staff who can treat an overdose if necessary.

In the report released Tuesday, two researchers said they've been evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a condition of their research, they didn't disclose the location of the facility -- which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal -- or the social service agency running it.

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9 CN ON: Mayor Targets OpioidsTue, 01 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:109 Added:08/05/2017

On top of city, region and provincial efforts, Matt Brown makes new bid to tackle local crisis, issues

Another drug crisis, another drug strategy.

In the midst of an ongoing London drug strategy, a regional drug strategy and a provincial drug strategy - none of them completed yet - the city's mayor wants his own drug strategy.

But the new effort will be nimble with a concrete focus, battling opioid overdoses and other problems in large part through the establishment of a supervised injection site, city health leaders promise.

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10CN ON: Injection Sites Considered As Part Of Wider StrategySat, 05 Aug 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Kotsis, Julie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2017

Safe injection sites for Windsor could be part of a "comprehensive solution" as the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit embarks on a study of how best to tackle illegal drug use and its ensuing complications.

Acting-medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said the solution must address broader issues of mental health, social support, treatment options, enforcement issues and could possibly include a supervised injection site in the city.

"Right now, we are at the very preliminary stage to even understand the potential action items needed in our community," Ahmed said. "When we have that, we will be in a much better position to say if this would be a good thing or a bad thing.

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11CN BC: 20 Years Of Helping AddictsTue, 18 Jul 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

Vancouver drug users' support group spearheaded first safe-injection site in North America

A copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms graces a wall around the corner from where a woman lies on the floor as a needle full of heroin is injected into her neck.

She rises quickly, sweeps her long brown hair over one shoulder and sits on a chair as a man is handed a needle by another woman also wanting his help at an overdose prevention site located at the office of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.

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12 US: US Heroin Crisis Is So Bad, It's 'Raining Needles'Mon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:United States Lines:106 Added:07/21/2017

LOWELL, Mass. -- They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets. Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere.

In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016. In March alone, San Francisco collected more than 13,000 syringes, compared with only about 2,900 in the same month in 2016.

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13 CN ON: Needle Exchange Site SoughtFri, 14 Jul 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:69 Added:07/19/2017

Efforts underway to establish a new needle exchange site in the city

The North Parry Sound District Health Unit indicated in a release Friday that harm reduction services, including the needle exchange program, continue to operate in the community and that work is underway to find ways to further increase access.

The release comes ahead of the closure at the end of the month of a key needle exchange site located at the Nipissing Detoxification and Substance Abuse Program on King Street. It's one of three exchange sites in the city.

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14CN BC: Drug Users' Network A Leader In Prevention For Two DecadesMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/19/2017

A copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms graces a wall around the corner from where a woman lies on the floor as a needle full of heroin is injected into her neck.

She rises quickly, sweeps her long brown hair over one shoulder and sits on a chair as a man is handed a needle by another woman also wanting his help at an overdose prevention site located at the office of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.

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15CN QU: Drug Users Are In Safe Hands At CactusTue, 20 Jun 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Wilton, Katherine Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:06/20/2017

After years of lobbying for safe injection sites, outreach workers at Cactus Montreal have opened a facility that will allow people to use intravenous drugs under medical supervision.

Drugs users began entering the site on Berger St. in downtown Montreal on Monday afternoon, injecting drugs in the presence of a nurse and staff member.

"This is an important tool to reduce deaths and avoid infections," said Sandhia Vadlamudy, the executive director of Cactus. "We have been waiting for this for a long time."

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16US OH: More Victims Of ODs: First Responders Suffer CompassionMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:DeMio, Terry Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:06/19/2017

The man was still, mouth open, head back in a white Crown Victoria stalled in the middle of a neighborhood street.

A paramedic pushed a flexible tube in the man's vein to pump in lifesaving naloxone to block the effects of whatever opioid he had taken and, if all worked well, revive him. Routine work. A little girl stopped her bicycle, clutching a melting red ice pop as she watched.

"This is just normal for her," said David Geiger, director of Covington Emergency Medical Services, nodding toward the child.

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17 CN ON: Do You Know What Your Kids Are Vaping?Wed, 24 May 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Hamilton-McCharles, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:05/29/2017

High school students in North Bay are vaping marijuana juice and crushed Oxycontin before and during school.

The startling news came in March when Almaguin Highlands Secondary School principal Donna Breault made a presentation to the Near North District School Board about vaping and its dangers.

Board chairman David Thompson says parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing.

"I think parents would be shocked," Thompson says. "Students are vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin and sharing filters, which is putting them at risk of some serious health concerns like hepatitis."

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18 CN ON: 'Parents Would Be Shocked'Tue, 23 May 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Hamilton-McCharles, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:05/28/2017

Students vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin, says principal

High school students are vaping marijuana juice and crushed Oxycontin before and during school.

The startling news came in March when Almaguin Highlands Secondary School principal Donna Breault made a presentation to the Near North District School Board about vaping and its dangers.

Board chairman David Thompson says parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing.

"I think parents would be shocked," Thompson says. "Students are vaping marijuana juice, crushed Oxycontin and sharing filters, which is putting them at risk of some serious health concerns like hepatitis."

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19 CN ON: OPED: Don't Criminalize Drug UsersSat, 27 May 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Lester, Brian Area:Ontario Lines:76 Added:05/27/2017

The article Needles the cause, cure (May 23) postulates possible reasons for higher rates of HIV and hepatitis C virus in London.

As an organization that advocates with and for people who inject drugs ( PWID), we note that, while unsafe injection practices may be a potential driver of these increased rates, it is probably not the only influence. There are multiple social and systemic influences that may not only contribute to the increase of disease, but also contribute to overall diminished health of those who inject drugs.

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20 CN SN: PUB LTE: No Need For Deaths By Drug OverdoesSat, 27 May 2017
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Sailor, Ken Area:Saskatchewan Lines:47 Added:05/27/2017

"'It's a try-and-die drug': Fentanyl is suspected in weekend overdose death" (SP, May 9) documents our cruel and ineffective drug policy.

Overdose deaths are completely avoidable, as is the spread of AIDS and hepatitis C through drug use. These problems are caused by prohibition of drugs, not the drugs themselves.

Drug policies other than prohibition have been tried, studied, and shown to have great success, if success means fewer addicts and far less crime and corruption.

When prescription heroin was provided in Manchester, England, crime fell in some neighbourhoods by 80 per cent.

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