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1CN 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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2 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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3 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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4CN 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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5CN 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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6 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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7 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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8CN 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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9CN 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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10US 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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11 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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12 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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13 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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14 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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15 CN ON: OPED: Don't Criminalize Drug UsersSat, 27 May 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Lester, Brian Area:Ontario Lines:77 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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16 CN PI: OPED: Time To Focus On PreventablesSat, 20 May 2017
Source:Journal-Pioneer, The (CN PI) Author:Colohan, Desmond Area:Prince Edward Island Lines:92 Added:05/24/2017

In a recent Canadian Public Health Association discussion paper, "A New Approach to Managing Illegal Psychoactive Substances in Canada," the point was made emphatically that our current approach to managing risk is not working.

Here are some of its highlights:

- - A psychoactive substance is a chemical that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness or behaviour. Societies mitigate the health, social, and economic consequences of the use and misuse of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, tranquillizers and sleeping pills in a variety of ways with varying degrees of success. Their effects on population health, however, are often overshadowed by our fascination with the direct effects of substance misuse on individuals [e.g. recent rise in the opioid death rate due to adulteration of the drug supply with fentanyl and its analogues]. Currently, western societies manage illegal psychoactive substances largely through prohibition and criminalization and legal drugs, like tobacco and alcohol, through regulation, restricted availability and price control. The laws and systems initially introduced to control these substances reflected the times ! and prevalent issues of the day, but no longer reflect current scientific knowledge concerning substance-related harms to individuals, families, or communities.

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17CN QU: OPED: Needle Programs For Prisoners Increase SafetyMon, 15 May 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Elliott, Richard Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:05/19/2017

Drug use in jail is a reality and reducing harm is vital, say Richard Elliott and Rick Lines.

Almost one-third of federal prisoners reported using drugs during the past six months.

In December 2016, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott committed her government to a new national drug strategy that reinstates harm reduction as a non-negotiable pillar. It was a welcome announcement, signalling a modest shift away from the last decade's emphasis on prohibition and punishment - policies that continue to kill people who use drugs in Canada.

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18 CN AB: Safe-Injection Site A Plausible Scenario For Medicine HatFri, 05 May 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Cranker, Mo Area:Alberta Lines:89 Added:05/08/2017

A safe-injection site could be coming to Medicine Hat.

Though still early in the process, HIV Community Link executive director Leslie Hill says this is something communities around Alberta could be seeing over the course of the next year or so.

"Right now we have a researcher in Medicine Hat working on creating a survey to get to drug users," she said. "We are doing this in response to a rise in opioid use across the province and we are trying to be proactive with this."

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19 CN ON: He Saved 17 People But Police Want To Jail HimSun, 30 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Contenta, Sandro Area:Ontario Lines:394 Added:05/01/2017

Mark Baratta works with drug users on the front lines of Ontario's opioid epidemic. But as deaths mount, Baratta's story illustrates how far society has to go to end the crisis . . . if it so chooses

Like most people who might be called heroes, Mark Baratta shies away from the label. A lean and purposeful man, Baratta has saved 17 people, each on separate occasions. He chalks it up, with a shrug of his shoulders, to keeping his head in the presence of death.

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20CN ON: Fighting Fire With FireMon, 17 Apr 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Miller, Jacquie Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2017

Medical marijuana may assist in keeping addicts off dangerous opioids.

The patients at Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla's methadone clinic are trying to beat their addiction to heroin, narcotic painkillers and other opioid drugs, but most of them still smoke pot.

He estimates that 90 per cent of his patients at the Recovery Ottawa clinic on Montreal Road already use marijuana, and he's begun writing prescriptions so they can buy it legally.

Medical marijuana, used appropriately, can reduce insomnia, anxiety and cravings for opioids, says Ujjainwalla. Marijuana cannot replace methadone or suboxone, the drugs he uses to treat addicts, he says.

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