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1 CN ON: Change For Drug GroupSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Sun Times, The (Owen Sound, CN ON) Author:Gowan, Rob Area:Ontario Lines:103 Added:12/06/2017

Grey-Bruce task force expands mandate from mostly meth to other drugs, substances

The Grey Bruce Task Force on Crystal Meth and Other Drugs is expanding its mandate.

As part of the expansion, the group, which involves a network of over 30 local partners, has changed its name to the Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy.

"We recognize there continues to be crystal met husein the community, so we are not saying we have solved the problem and it is time to move on to something else," Alison Govier, coordinator of the Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy said Friday. "But we are also seeing a trend in polysubstance use -- dependence on more than one substance at a time -- so we feel as a community our efforts are better spent to expand the mandate to include all substances."

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2 CN ON: City Backs Downtown Supervised Injection SiteTue, 05 Dec 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Dongen, Matthew Van Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:12/05/2017

Two community agencies on hand to lend support for initiative which is expected to be paid for by province

The city has endorsed a supervised injection site for downtown Hamilton but it's up to a community agency to step up to run such a facility.

The city's board of health endorsed the findings of a long-awaited study Monday that recommend adding at least one permanent site in the core for people to safely inject illegal drugs under the watchful eye of health professionals.

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3 CN ON: Opioid Crisis Is Here TooMon, 04 Dec 2017
Source:Sun Times, The (Owen Sound, CN ON) Author:Crosby, Don Area:Ontario Lines:101 Added:12/04/2017

Ontario is in the middle of an opioid crisis, Grey Bruce Health Unit program director Lynda Bumstead and Hope Grey Bruce member Dave Roy told Brockton council.

Bumstead said one person dies every 10 hours in Ontario from an opioid overdose. In 2016, there were eight deaths in Grey Bruce linked to opioid overdose.

"There are many, many more individuals suffering from overdoses and addictions every day in Grey and Bruce," Bumstead told council last week. Overdoses due to opioids killed more people in 2014 than car accidents, and the number of deaths due to opioid overdose continues to rise.

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4 CN ON: Editorial: Safe-Injection Site Makes Sense For HamiltonSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:12/02/2017

Facing the reality that Hamilton needs at least one supervised injection site is not pleasant.

In an ideal world, such a thing might not be needed. People with drug addictions would get counselling and support to break their addiction. Until then, they could ingest drugs in a safe and clean environment.

But this isn't an ideal world. We're in a historic and growing street-drug crisis. And those qualities - access to support and a safe environment - are exactly what you get with a supervised injection site (SIS).

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5CN BC: B.C. Emergency Response Centre With Island Link To BattleSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Kines, Lindsay Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/02/2017

The B.C. government stepped up its fight against the growing number of drug overdose deaths Friday with the launch of a new emergency response centre that will link to regional and community action teams on Vancouver Island and elsewhere.

The emergency centre will have about 10 full- and part-time staff based at Vancouver General Hospital and backed by a team of experts.

The centre will analyze data, spot trends and work with new regional teams at Island Health and the other four health authorities to improve front-line services.

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6 CN BC: As Overdoses Mount, Prompt Warnings Are CrucialSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:163 Added:12/02/2017

Lessons are still being digested after a lethal batch of opioids in October put emergency workers to the test

The first warning came mid-afternoon on a Thursday in late October, from a client at a downtown Victoria HIV/AIDS and harm-reduction facility.

It was the day after "cheque day," when social-assistance payments are issued in B.C. - a period linked to an increase in overdoses and other related harms. But even with that factored in, front-line workers were getting the sense that things were worse than usual.

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7 CN ON: 'It's Not A One-Person Job'Fri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Expositor, The (CN ON) Author:Ruby, Michelle Area:Ontario Lines:121 Added:12/01/2017

First co-ordinator of drugs strategy says community role key to success

As the first co-ordinator of a plan to address local drug use, Lacey DaSilva knows she has been handed a weighty task.

The Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy, officially launched earlier this month, sets out goals to delay or prevent substance abuse and keep those already using safe and healthy.

It also aims to ensure residents have timely access to services and to reframe addiction from an issue of criminal justice to one of public health.

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8 CN MB: Series: Part 2 Shattering The Stigma - Michael Bricey JohnsonSun, 26 Nov 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Ball, Candice G. Area:Manitoba Lines:167 Added:11/29/2017

When the police came to Lois Fridfinnson's door and told her that her son, Michael Johnson, died from a methadone overdose, she fell to the floor. She thought that would be the worst day of her life.

Her 23-year-old son struggled with opioid addiction. Michael had been waiting nearly three months to get into treatment. He had been given a two-day supply of methadone and was supposed to enter treatment on May 3, 2010. He died on May 1.

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9 CN AB: Editorial: Drug Addiction Should Be Health Issue, Not CriminalSat, 25 Nov 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB)          Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:11/29/2017

Canada is currently in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis.

The two most western provinces and territories - British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories - have been hit especially hard, likely due to their relative proximity to China, where much of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is produced.

According to Government of Canada statistics from 2016, B.C. and Yukon each had more than 15 opioid overdoses per 100,000 people, while Alberta and N.W.T. each had between 10 and 14.9 overdoses per 100,000 people.

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10 CN ON: Board Weighs Putting Naloxone Kits In Every SchoolFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Outhit, Jeff Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:11/29/2017

WATERLOO REGION - The public school board is considering stocking every school with an emergency kit to fight drug overdoses, at the cost of $119,000 per year.

Kits contain the medication naloxone. By injection or nasal spray, it temporarily reverses the effects of an overdose of an opioid drug such as fentanyl or heroin.

Currently, local schools are to call 911 if an overdose is suspected.

"If that was my child I would want someone to do something," trustee Cindy Watson said, after pressing the Waterloo Region District School Board to buy overdose kits and train staff to use them.

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11CN BC: OPED: Liquor Stores The Responsible Way To Retail PotFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Smith, Stephanie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

It's late afternoon and you receive a text message: "Friends coming for dinner. Please pick up wine." You pull into the neighbourhood liquor store, pick up a bottle of your favourite wine and head home. A familiar scene taking place across the province every day.

When you go into your local liquor store, you have confidence knowing you're buying a quality product in a secure environment, with stores conveniently located in every community across the province.

B.C.'s public and private liquor stores have a proven track record over many decades, selling controlled alcohol products to adults in a responsible manner, with more than a 90 per cent compliance rate in restricting sales to minors.

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12CN BC: OPED: B.C. Liquor Stores Ideal Venue For Marijuana SalesFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Smith, Stephanie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

A proven system is already in place, Stephanie Smith and Damian Kettlewell write.

It's late afternoon and you receive a text message: "Please pick up wine." You pull into the neighbourhood liquor store, pick up a bottle and head home. A familiar scene taking place across the province every day.

When you go into your local liquor store, you know you are buying a quality product in a secure environment, with stores conveniently located across the province.

B.C.'s public and private liquor stores have a proven track record selling controlled alcohol products to adults in a responsible manner, with more than a 90 per cent compliance rate in restricting sales to minors.

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13 CN ON: Supervised Injection Site Eyed For Downtown CoreThu, 23 Nov 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:123 Added:11/28/2017

Mayor backs scheme, says time to get it out of alleyways and off railway lands

A decision on whether to authorize a supervised injection site in Hamilton's core is expected to be made Dec. 4 by the Board of Health.

The proposed site would be located somewhere between Main Street East and Barton Street East and bordered by Queen Street North and Wellington Street North.

"It's high time we tried to get these injection issues out of the alleyways and the railway lines and make sure people who are doing drugs, do it safely," said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. "People are drug addicted and that's just the reality. Turning our mind away from that or sticking our head in the sand is delusional."

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14 CN NS: Safe Needle Disposal Program Open To AllThu, 23 Nov 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Sullivan, Nikki Area:Nova Scotia Lines:99 Added:11/28/2017

Most pharmacies won't ask what needles are used for

Used needles or other sharps never have to be discarded in bottles, garbage or public spaces because of the Safe Sharps Bring-Back Program.

The Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS) administers the program for residential sharps users. Although it is not intended for people who use intravenous drugs, most pharmacies won't ask what the needles are being used for.

"The whole idea is about harm reduction," said Hugh Toner, pharmacist owner of both Medicine Shoppe stores in Sydney.

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15 CN ON: Edu: Column: There's Major Dough In Dope A How Should TheMon, 27 Nov 2017
Source:Varsity, The (CN ON Edu) Author:Naveed, Ramsha Area:Ontario Lines:130 Added:11/27/2017

To effectively combat substance abuse, marijuana tax funds should primarily be invested in prevention and education

On November 10, the Canadian federal government announced an excise tax plan that will be implemented when marijuana is legalized next summer. The plan proposed an excise tax of $1 per gram, or 10 per cent of the producer's sale price, with the higher amount of the two being charged.

The plan is still in its consultation stage, and there are sure to be many changes over the next few months. Hopefully the fact that education and prevention tactics provide better long-term solutions to addressing substance abuse than punitive mechanisms will guide future discussions about the tax plan. Moving forward, marijuana legalization should be approached mainly as an issue of public health - the revenue from legalization can play a major role in ensuring appropriate solutions to substance abuse are implemented.

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16 CN ON: Obstacles Are Hindering First Nation's Drug FightMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Northern News (CN ON) Author:Meldrum, Emma Area:Ontario Lines:127 Added:11/23/2017

The chief of Attawapiskat First Nation has solutions for the illegal drug trade in his community - but he's coming up against "frustrating " roadblocks.

Ignace Gull said Thursday that Attawapiskat is dealing with Canada Post, the Northwest Company and the Ministry of Transport (which owns the airport) to stop the flow of drugs.

"We're trying to do our own way of making sure that those drugs don't flow through our community," said Gull. "One of the things that costs us is with these prescriptions drugs, they're destroying young people, destroying families."

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17 CN BC: Housing Part Of Opioid Crisis SolutionWed, 22 Nov 2017
Source:Richmond News (CN BC) Author:Wood, Graeme Area:British Columbia Lines:99 Added:11/22/2017

Best-selling author Johann Hari weighs in on B.C. housing and opioid crises

Graeme Wood / Richmond News

Adequate, affordable housing - not a misguided, unscientific and subjective approach to drug criminalization - is the cornerstone of preventing and overcoming drug addiction.

That's the message British author and drug war critic Johann Hari brought to Richmond Monday at a conference hosted by Housing Central (BC Non-profit Housing Association, Co-op Housing Federation of BC, Aboriginal Housing Management Association and the Pacific Housing Research Network.)

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18 CN BC: Column: B.C. Liquor Stores Best To Deal CannabisTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Smith, Stephanie Area:British Columbia Lines:98 Added:11/21/2017

It's late afternoon and you receive a text message: 'Friends coming for dinner. Please pick up wine.' You pull into the neighbourhood liquor store, pick up a bottle of your favourite wine and head home. A familiar scene taking place across the province every day.

When you go into your local liquor store, you have confidence knowing that you're buying a quality product in a secure environment, with stores conveniently located in every community across the province.

B.C.'s public and private liquor stores have a proven track record over many decades, selling controlled alcohol products to adults in a responsible manner, with more than a 90 per cent compliance rate in restricting sales to minors.

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19 CN ON: Hug-A-Drug AddictTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Levy, Sue-Ann Area:Ontario Lines:109 Added:11/21/2017

Users fed their poisons - but safely - in public park

It's the perfect setup for hard-core addicts.

There's a special tent for crack smokers.

There's another tent to provide safe injections of illegal drugs like heroin, fentanyl and opiates and handouts of Naloxone (an antidote for opioid overdoses) - the tent now winterized with the generous assistance of the health ministry.

Overseeing the "military-grade equipment" that provides heating and lighting are two staff with the ministry's emergency medical assistance team (EMAT). Cost is unknown at this point because the "deployment is ongoing," says Laura Gallant, spokesman for Health Minister Eric Hoskins.

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20 CN ON: Drug Strategy Unique To OxfordTue, 21 Nov 2017
Source:Sentinel Review (CN ON) Author:Rivers, Heather Area:Ontario Lines:67 Added:11/21/2017

The county issued a request for proposals last week for local drug strategy to address opioid and other substance misuse issues

Oxford County is zeroing in on the development of a local drug strategy that would include an overdose response plan for the opioid crisis.

Last week, the county issued a request for proposals for the development of a drug strategy to enhance local opioid response while working towards building a sustainable community outreach and response capacity.

"We are reaching out to individuals and organizations who may be interested in developing a drug strategy for Oxford County to address opiate issues and other substance misuse," said Peter Heywood, manager of health protection for Oxford County public health. "We look forward to reviewing those proposals in a couple weeks."

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21 CN MB: Editorial: Add Weed To The Birds And Bees 'Talk'Wed, 15 Nov 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)          Area:Manitoba Lines:82 Added:11/20/2017

A GENERATION of Canadians who grew up with the "Just Say No" anti-drug messaging of the 1980s will find themselves in uncharted waters next summer.

As of July 1, 2018, marijuana will be legal, which will radically change a lot of things - including, significantly, how we talk to our kids about it.

Realistically, it's a conversation we should already be having. According to a 2013 UNICEF Office of Research report, Canadian youth are among the top users of marijuana in the developed world.

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22 CN ON: Needles Vs. TourismMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Levy, Sue-Ann Area:Ontario Lines:140 Added:11/20/2017

BIA expresses concern about T.O.'s first harm-reduction site

In a mere matter of months it seems the city's first harmreduction site has turned one of Toronto's top tourist areas into a needle disposal site.

Mark Garner, CEO and executive director of the Downtown Yonge BIA, says they're seeing an "increased number of needles" within blocks of The Works location on Victoria St. - in YongeDundas Square, in the washrooms of Tim Hortons coffee shops and in laneways.

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23 CN NS: Editorial: Go Further To Fight Opioid CrisisMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Truro Daily News (CN NS)          Area:Nova Scotia Lines:95 Added:11/20/2017

To say that Canada is in the midst of opioid crisis is, tragically, a gross understatement. This is an emergency. Some 3,000 people, or about eight a day, are expected to die of opioid overdoses this year in Canada. Another 16 others are hospitalized each day.

To put that in perspective, 44 people died in the SARS epidemic of 2003.

So Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor's announcement last week listing new measures to fight the opioid crisis could not have come soon enough. But, distressingly, as bold as the new measures are, they don't go far enough to ward off the epidemic of deaths caused by these highly addictive drugs.

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24 CN BC: OPED: Red Zones Are Ruining LivesMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Larkin, DJ Area:British Columbia Lines:116 Added:11/20/2017

Regularly imposed bail condition is an untenable method of punishment and sets up marginalized people for failure

Imagine you have a serious medical condition requiring regular care. You are charged with a minor offence, for which you are innocent until proved guilty, and your first step into the justice system is to stand before a judge who will determine whether you will be released on bail. The judge says you are free to go, but as a condition of release you are not to be within the 10 square-block area that constitutes the downtown - even though your doctor, your pharmacy and your social supports such as friends and family are all within that area. You have been "red zoned" from your community.

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25 CN BC: Column: D-E-C-R-I-M-I-N-A-L-I-Z-EFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Kamloops This Week (CN BC) Author:Foulds, Christopher Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:11/13/2017

A quarter-century ago, Abbotsford had its moment of clarity with respect to drugs and gangs.

After repeated denials by the city's municipal police department that gangs were active in the Fraser Valley city, the truth was laid bare when 18-year-old Kirby Martin was shot and killed in a parking lot of a mall along the city's main strip, South Fraser Way.

His death was followed by acknowledgment from police that gangs were indeed part of life in the city and many community forums followed.

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26 CN YK: Pro-Cannabis Respondents Smoke DissidentsFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Whitehorse Star (CN YK) Author:Blewett, Taylor Area:Yukon Territory Lines:128 Added:11/13/2017

A significant majority of Yukoners are behind the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana for recreational use

A significant majority of Yukoners are behind the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana for recreational use and believe it's acceptable to occasionally use the drug for exactly that reason.

Those findings are in the results from the Yukon government's most successful survey ever in terms of participation numbers.

Nearly 3,200 responses to the introductory section of a YG public engagement survey on cannabis legalization were filed.

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27 CN BC: Fentanyl Task Force Plans Community ConversationFri, 10 Nov 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Hall, Bob Area:British Columbia Lines:176 Added:11/13/2017

The event will feature stories from the front lines

Nelson's Fentanyl Task Force is set to host Growing Hope: A Community Conversation on the Current Fentanyl Crisis at Nelson's Hume Hotel on Nov. 22. The discussion will feature health care professionals, emergency responders, educators and community leaders across the West Kootenay.

"What will have the biggest effect on death is reducing stigma for people who are using drugs," says Chloe Sage, an educator at Nelson's ANKORS who will be part of a seven-person panel of speakers at the event. "One of the goals of these panels is to be able to talk about all the issues that involve people who use drugs and people who are at risk of dying from fentanyl overdose. When we start lowering the stigma and people can talk about what they are going through, then we will have less deaths because people will be able to seek the help they need."

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28 CN ON: OPED: How Canada Can Properly Deal With The Opioid CrisisTue, 07 Nov 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Vaccarino, Cara Area:Ontario Lines:104 Added:11/11/2017

Canada's response to the opioid crisis has been fragmented and marginally effective at best. We deserve a better approach, and the answers are out there. Other countries are effectively dealing with the issue and Canada should be more open to learning from them. There are several key steps we can take to ensure Canadians with addiction can lead healthier, happier and more productive lives.

First, we need to recognize this is actually a crisis. Do you remember SARS and how it impacted every Canadian with a focused response from our public health teams? Forty-four Canadians died from SARS. How about AIDS at its peak in 1995? We all were aware of the crisis and as Canadians we worked together diligently to help. That year about 1,400 people died from AIDS. Compare this to over 2,400 Canadians dying from opioid overdoses in 2016 and the number likely to double in 2017.

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29 Canada: Ottawa To Launch Public Consultations On $1-A-Gram Pot TaxMon, 06 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Leblanc, Daniel Area:Canada Lines:104 Added:11/11/2017

The federal government is moving on a number of fronts as it pushes toward the legalization of cannabis by next summer, including launching public consultations on the proposed excise tax of $1 a gram.

In addition, federal officials are putting the finishing touches on complex regulations that will set the rules for the production and distribution of cannabis "from seed to sale." Once they are made public in coming weeks, the regulations will be the subject of separate consultations, with the government seeking input of everyone from producers to consumers to health experts.

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30 CN BC: B.C. Expands Street-Drug Testing ProgramSat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:106 Added:11/11/2017

Province widens availability of device for detecting the presence of fentanyl; medical health officer says lives will be saved

British Columbia has expanded a program allowing people to check their street drugs for fentanyl before using, becoming the first jurisdiction in Canada to facilitate the experimental testing on a wide scale.

Health officials have also purchased a device that detects both the presence and quantities of deadly adulterants and can provide a more detailed analysis of not just fentanyl, but other chemically similar drugs being cut into the local supply.

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