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1 CN ON: Column: Opioid crisis in Peterborough: Overdose PreventionTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Salvaterra, Rosana Area:Ontario Lines:95 Added:03/16/2018

In 2018 we find ourselves battling an opioid crisis that has been years in the making. Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain and were originally derived from opium but now also include synthetic preparations.

In the mid-1990s, their use by physicians was heavily promoted by the pharmaceutical industry, leading to greater prescribing for both acute and chronic pain. Patients using opioids can develop a dependency or addiction.

There are two sources of opioids: those that are produced by the pharmaceutical industry and those that are illicitly produced. Recently, the illicit supply has become so contaminated with fentanyl (a very powerful opioid) or fentanyl-like substances that many people are at risk of an unintended acute and potentially fatal poisoning.

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2 CN AB: Column: Getting Drugs Off Streets Requires A Team EffortMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:93 Added:03/16/2018

Last week there were two rallies organized to address the opioid crisis - one in the city and the other on the Blood Reserve. On Monday night, I attended the Community in Crisis March that started at City Hall and ended with a candlelight vigil at Galt Gardens. Several very touching speeches were given by citizens who have been impacted by the opioid crisis and are determined to fight back.

Our Mayor and local MLA Maria Fitzpatrick also provided remarks echoing the sentiment that this crisis sees no boundaries - it does not discriminate. They also reaffirmed we must continue with harm reduction efforts and band together as communities.

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3 Canada: Column: Does Naloxone Really Save Lives?Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Wente, Margaret Area:Canada Lines:100 Added:03/10/2018

The life-saving drug may actually increase opioid abuse. Here's why

My friendly local pharmacy has started selling naloxone kits to the general public. They think everyone should have one. The idea is that you never know when you're going to have someone overdose in your home.

As the opioid crisis spreads like a curse across North America, naloxone - a lifesaving drug that neutralizes the effects of an opioid overdose - is not confined to first responders anymore. Schools in Toronto are stocking up in it. Librarians across the United States have been trained to administer it to overdosing visitors. Everywhere, the message is: make sure you have some on hand, just in case.

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4 CN ON: Moss Park Harm-Reduction Volunteers Staying PutSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Gray, Jeff Area:Ontario Lines:132 Added:03/10/2018

More supervised injection sites planned as opioid-overdose numbers skyrocket

The construction trailer that houses the illegal, volunteer-run overdose prevention site in Toronto's Moss Park is about to open for another evening, as a dozen drug users, some clearly anxious for their fix, cluster around its muddy entrance in the cold.

Activist and harm-reduction worker Zoe Dodd, named one of Toronto Life magazine's most influential people last year, alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and R&B star the Weeknd, unloads an extra box of anti-overdose naloxone kits from her beat-up sedan.

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5 CN ON: Opioid-Related Deaths In Hamilton Surge In One YearSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:03/10/2018

City's fatality rate is now nearly double Ontario average, fuelling more concern

Opioid-related deaths in Hamilton have soared more than 80 per cent in one year.

From January to October, 75 Hamilton residents died from an opioid overdose in 2017 compared to 41 during the same period the year before.

"Opioids are continuing to have a devastating impact on individuals, families, and the community," Hamilton's medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said in a statement Friday. "The sustained trend of rising opioid related deaths, which are preventable, in Hamilton is very concerning."

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6 CN ON: Region Looking Into 3 Safe Injection Sites Locations NotThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Weidner, Johanna Area:Ontario Lines:131 Added:03/05/2018

WATERLOO REGION - Waterloo Region plans to look further into pursuing three supervised injection sites, following a study that found a need and support in the community for the service to combat fatal opioid overdoses.

Sites are proposed for the central cores of Kitchener and Galt, and a third spot to be determined that could be a mobile unit.

"In Waterloo Region, we know that overdose is on the rise," said Grace Bermingham, regional manager of information, planning and harm reduction.

Bermingham presented findings from the first phase of a feasibility study on supervised injection sites to a regional committee on Tuesday. The second phase involves identifying potential locations and further consultations with people who live, work or go to school near a proposed site.

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7 CN AB: Lethbridge OD Spike Watched Closely In The HatThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:72 Added:03/05/2018

The significant spike in illicit drug overdoses in Lethbridge has not reached Medicine Hat - yet.

There is no way to predict that it will or when, said Insp. Tim McGough, Medicine Hat Police Service.

Lethbridge recently experienced its largest spike in overdoses - 16 cases - ever recorded in a 24-hour period. There were 42 overdose calls to first responders in the week after Feb. 19.

"We've had no specific overdose spike (in Medicine Hat) but we are always concerned with illicit usage." said McGough.

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8 CN ON: Numbers Increase At OD-Prevention SiteFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:68 Added:03/02/2018

Nearly three weeks in, London's temporary overdose-prevention site - the first of its kind in the province - has gone from four drug users a day to 44, and front-line workers are beaming.

The stripped-down supervised consumption facility opened Feb. 12, a quick, co-ordinated response to the growing number of opioid overdoses among London drug users. As of Tuesday, staff were seeing as many as 44 clients a day.

"Clients are having trouble believing it. It's too good to be true," said Sonja Burke, needle exchange director at the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.

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9 CN AB: Column: Consumption Site Is A Logical Step In Drug FightMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:119 Added:03/01/2018

This week marks a historic first for the City of Lethbridge. The Supervised Consumption Site (SCS) will open its doors and will be the first of its kind in North America to offer all four modes of consumption - ingestion/oral, injection, intra-nasal/snorting and inhalation. Despite this milestone, it's fair to say the facility has been met with mixed reviews, including people who have come to me to "blame" the police service for letting it happen. This not only demonstrates a narrow view of Canada and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but a failure to understand the role of the police in social-political decisions that are driven by municipal , provincial and federal officials and the mandate they support.

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10CN ON: City Supports Overdose Prevention SiteWed, 28 Feb 2018
Source:Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON) Author:Walter, Karena Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/01/2018

St. Catharines council is unanimously supporting the creation of a temporary supervised injection site in the city to help deal with the opioid crisis.

"It is pure harm reduction. It is stopping people from dying," said Sandi Tantardini of Niagara Area Moms Ending Stigma, speaking in support of the site at Monday night's council meeting.

Tantardini and Jennifer Johnston founded the group of moms, families and friends of people who have been lost to or are struggling with addiction.

"When we're talking about the effects of the opioid crisis, our group and its representatives and our families, we're the faces of it," said Johnston, whose son Jonathan, a chef who trained at Niagara College, died of a fentanyl overdose in Toronto.

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11 Canada: PUB LTE: Giving Up On AddictsThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Swenson, Luke Area:Canada Lines:48 Added:02/27/2018

Re: Opioid vending machines won't help B.C.'s addicts. Jeremy Devine, Feb. 14 This piece, written by my classmate, Jeremy Devine, contains misinformation and stigma. I felt compelled to write a response because his views do not reflect mine or those of many of our fellow medical school classmates at the University of Toronto.

The article suggests that British Columbia's harm reduction approach is some ill-conceived mistake that jeopardizes the lives of people who use drugs. In fact, Mr. Devine's ideological stance is not based on evidence, and if enacted, could endanger countless lives.

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12 CN ON: Ellis Defends New Pot LawThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Intelligencer, The (CN ON) Author:Meeks, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:105 Added:02/26/2018

Liberal MP says he wasn't thrilled about it at first, but changed his views

Cannabis was on the menu at the Belleville & District Chamber of Commerce's monthly breakfast Wednesday at the Travelodge Hotel, and Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis was pushing it - from a business point of view.

With Bill C- 45, the Cannabis Act, expected to be law by July 1, Ellis said the business of marijuana will provide many opportunities, not just from production of both recreational and medical cannabis, but from the many sideline businesses it will create.

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13CN QU: Government Urged To Repeal Drug LawsWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Fidelman, Charlie Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:02/26/2018

Protesters carrying signs saying "Injustice is fatal!" laid dozens of white carnations next to a coffin on the steps of Montreal City Hall Tuesday, each representing a life lost to a drugoverdose.

A coalition of community groups, crisis workers, activists and drug users held a demonstration demanding the government repeal drug laws that marginalize drug users.

They also held a moment of silence - joining several vigils held simultaneously across Canada. The opioid crisis claimed nearly 3,000 lives in 2016, and the estimated death toll last year is pegged at 4,000 people.

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14 CN NS: Reducing The Risks NHCS Doing Its Part To Combat OpioidWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Truro Daily News (CN NS) Author:Curwin, Lynn Area:Nova Scotia Lines:52 Added:02/25/2018

Harm reduction is more than a job for Karen Kittilsen Levine. Reducing the numbers of people dying from opioid addiction and blood-borne disease is something she's determined to do.

"We began doing outreach in Pictou County on November 1 and have more than 40 clients, and we're beginning outreach in Amherst within a few days," said Kittilsen Levine, who is the harm reduction coordinator for the Northern Healthy Connections Society.

The organization collects used needles and distributes clean ones. It also provides condoms and information on blood-borne diseases.

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15 Canada: Column: We Should Treat Heroin Like Other Prescription DrugsTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Picard, Andre Area:Canada Lines:119 Added:02/25/2018

Every morning, Kevin Thompson takes a short stroll from his apartment to the Crosstown Clinic, where he signs in, gets his prescription medicine, then sits in a small room and injects it before heading off to work.

He follows this routine up to three times a day and has done so virtually every day for more than a dozen years.

The medicine is diacetylmorphine, the medical term for prescription heroin.

"It saved my life. No question, it saved my life," Mr. Thompson, 47, says emphatically.

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16CN BC: Editorial: Damaged Lives Need Our HelpSun, 18 Feb 2018
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2018

With toxic street drugs such as fentanyl killing four British Columbians a day, much of the response has focused on overdose treatments with naloxone, and supervised injection sites. Yet public-health staff have concluded that emergency interventions such as these will not stop the epidemic. If the supply of these drugs cannot be halted - and no war on drugs has ever been won - the only option is to prevent the downward slide that leads to street-drug addiction.

Many of the victims are middle-age men and women who have fought a lifelong struggle against such challenges as alcoholism, mental illness, the lasting effects of childhood abuse and more.

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17 CN BC: Drug Laws Kill: AdvocatesWed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Winter, Jesse Area:British Columbia Lines:88 Added:02/21/2018

Demonstrators demand change to federal drug policies

Around 200 drug users and advocates took to Vancouver's streets Tuesday, demanding changes to the federal government's drug policies.

In a national day of action, co-ordinated with cities across Canada, demonstrators from the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs (CAPUD), the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) and other groups marched through Vancouver's Downtown Eastside from Victory Square to the B.C. courts building at Hornby and Smithe St.

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18 CN ON: 'It Is Just Not Slowing Down'Wed, 21 Feb 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mathieu, Emily Area:Ontario Lines:109 Added:02/21/2018

Rally in response to the opioid crisis hears tales of loss and 'burnt out' workers

Kim Pare said his family did everything they could to help their bright and beautiful daughter, but in the end she couldn't fight the illness of addiction.

It's been almost four years since Kaitlyn died, at 24, from a prescription opioid overdose and from her father's perspective nothing has really changed.

"We are losing a generation of people who could be valuable members of our society. We have to help them,' Pare said, speaking to about 30 people at a rally at King and York Sts. Tuesday's event was part of a National Day of Action in response to the opioid and contaminated drug crisis.

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19 Canada: Editorial: It's Time For An All-Out War On FentanylSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada)          Area:Canada Lines:101 Added:02/17/2018

Earlier this month, front-line health workers in Toronto raised the possibility that part of the city's cocaine supply may be tainted with fentanyl, after a handful of drug overdoses were connected to users unknowingly consuming the deadly opioid while smoking crack.

This dismal scenario is common in Canada. Across the country, illicit drugs are being cut with the synthetic painkiller - which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin - because it is cheap and powerful and saves dealers money. During a month-long period in the summer of 2016, 86 per cent of the street drugs tested at Vancouver's supervised injection sitewere laced with fentanyl.

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20 CN ON: Aids Network Proposes First Injection SiteSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:80 Added:02/17/2018

The AIDS Network is putting itself forward to run Hamilton's first supervised injectionsite at its downtown Effort Square location.

The AIDS service organization is preparing proposals to the provincial and federal governments for a permanent site where people can inject illegal drugs under the watchful eye of trained staff without fear of arrest.

Meanwhile, it is also proposing a smaller temporary overdose prevention site as a stopgap that would allow supervised injection until the permanent location was approved and operating.

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21CN ON: OPED: How The NDP Can Set Itself Apart On Drug PolicyFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Hutt, James Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:02/16/2018

Decriminalization is the right move , say James Hutt and Emilie Taman.

Canada's overdose crisis is getting worse, not better. In 2016, there were 2,861 opioid-related deaths. Last year, there were more than 4,000.

All of them were preventable.

As the NDP gathers in Ottawa this weekend for its national policy convention, many hope that this issue will be front and centre. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has already indicated that he favours the decriminalization of all drugs - not because it's the popular but because it's the right thing to do.

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22 CN ON: OPED: Prevention Needs To Be Key In Fighting Drug AbuseSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Pancer, Mark Area:Ontario Lines:99 Added:02/15/2018

Fentanyl. The drug is one that most people never even heard of until a few years ago. Now it strikes fear into the hearts of public health officials, youth workers, parents and others. A few grains of fentanyl, often mixed with another recreational drug without the user's knowledge, can cause death within minutes. It has caused thousands of overdose deaths in Canada and tens of thousands in the U.S., and those numbers are rising rapidly.

How have we dealt with this crisis? The primary strategy has been to supply naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of fentanyl, as widely as possible to police officers, health care providers and others who are likely to encounter people who have overdosed. The use of naloxone is a "harm reduction strategy", intended to reduce the negative consequences of using fentanyl, and it has saved many lives. But it is not enough. Overdose deaths from fentanyl continue to increase even after widespread distribution of naloxone kits. We desperately need another strategy. But what kind of strategy would work?

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23 CN ON: London To Open Temporary Supervised Drug-Use SiteMon, 12 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hayes, Molly Area:Ontario Lines:107 Added:02/12/2018

Provincial plan aims to fill gap for communities waiting on permanent services for opioid crisis

A temporary supervised drug use site will open its doors in London, Ont., Monday - the first of what is expected to be many under a new provincial emergency-response program that will fill the gap for communities waiting on permanent sites.

Thousands of people are dying from overdoses every year across Canada. In Ontario alone, there were 336 opioid-related deaths between May and July last year, up 68 per cent from that same period the year before. Fentanyl, a drug so potent that mere grains of it can be lethal, was a factor in 67 per cent of those deaths - up from 41 per cent in 2016, and 19 per cent in 2015.

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24 Canada: Column: When It Comes To Harm Reduction, City Council Gets ItMon, 12 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Tanner, Adrienne Area:Canada Lines:107 Added:02/12/2018

Councillors might still squabble over budgets, but no one questions the fact that the opioid crisis must be solved

Mark Tyndall stood before Vancouver City Council at a recent meeting to proselytize for his latest harm-reduction scheme: vending machines to dispense opioids to drug users.

"I really wish we could get 50 of these things going in the next year," said Dr. Tyndall, executive medical health director of the BC Centre for Disease Control. "We could supply clean drugs to thousands of people and our overdose numbers would plummet." He plans to start with a pilot project in Vancouver.

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25 CN ON: Health Unit Offers Secure Needle DisposalSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON) Author:Sonnenberg, Monte Area:Ontario Lines:59 Added:02/10/2018

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit has expanded its harm-reduction strategy related to intravenous drug users.

With opioid addiction an increasing problem in the local area and elsewhere, the health unit has set up three 24-hour disposal sites where users can dispose of old needles.

Needle disposal is a concern for health officials because intravenous drug abuse is highly correlated with blood-borne illnesses, such as HIV and hepatitis.

Used needles that aren't properly disposed pose a hazard to young people who may pick them up or people passing by who are inadvertently stabbed.

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26 CN ON: Drug Awareness Week Offers A Chance To TalkWed, 07 Feb 2018
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Bain, Jason Area:Ontario Lines:114 Added:02/09/2018

After three years of addressing substance abuse issues while patrolling local high schools, city police community services officer Const. Andy Hatton said he has learned more about how important the lines of communication are between parents and their children.

Drug Awareness Week continues until Friday and city police and health care and public health partners point out it's a ideal time to have serious conversations about the topic.

"Don't be afraid to ask those difficult questions. Don't be afraid to have those sometimes difficult conversations. It's important to know what's going on," the officer said during a Tuesday morning launch for the week at Westmount Pharmacy.

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27 CN ON: Public Health Handing Out More Naloxone KitsSat, 03 Feb 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Paddon, Natalie Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:02/06/2018

453 people were revived 'from the brink of death' in 2017, Hamilton city officials hear

More than one-quarter of naloxone kits distributed through Hamilton Public Health last year were used to revive someone from an overdose.

Of the 1,700 opioid antidote kits handed out in 2017, 453 were reportedly used to revive a person.

"Four-hundred and fifty-three people revived from the brink of death. It's hard to imagine that's anything but a success," said Michael Parkinson, who works with the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council and the Municipal Drug Strategy Coordinators Network of Ontario.

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28CN QU: Editorial: Let's Reform Drug LawsSat, 03 Feb 2018
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU)          Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:02/06/2018

'Be it resolved the government of Canada should treat drug abuse as a health issue, expand treatment and harm reduction services and re-classify low-level drug possession and consumption as administrative violations."

That's the concluding sentence of a draft resolution up for possible consideration at the federal Liberals' next policy convention, to be held in Halifax this April. It follows a preamble that suggests Canada should follow the example of Portugal, which in 2001 did just that, decriminalizing possession of relatively small amounts of illicit drugs.

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29 CN ON: City Examines Injection SiteWed, 31 Jan 2018
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Keown, Mary Katherine Area:Ontario Lines:82 Added:02/05/2018

Committee to look at report next week

Sudbury could become home to a safe injection site.

The community services committee will hear next week about the prospect of undertaking a feasibility study for a site, which will cost $150,000 to $200,000. Council is being asked to endorse the report.

"Through community consultations, under the mental health and compassionate city community priorities, the suggested action includes the study of and possible

establishment of a supervised injection site," a staff report indicates. "In addition, the establishment of (a safe injection site) has been prioritized by the community drug strategy as part of the harm reduction pillar area of responsibility."

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30 CN ON: Region Looks For Improvement On Needle DisposalThu, 01 Feb 2018
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Weidner, Johanna Area:Ontario Lines:93 Added:02/05/2018

WATERLOO REGION - Regional councillors thanked the public health department for its harm reduction efforts, but said more needs to be done to ensure used needles aren't ending up in public spaces.

"I do appreciate the efforts of public health," Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig said at a council meeting on Tuesday. "But we still have a problem."

The number of needles distributed through Waterloo Region's needle syringe program has been rising steadily in recent years, reaching a peak in 2017, according to a report presented this week.

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