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1Canada: Oped: This Is Who We Are, UnfortunatelyFri, 22 Jun 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:White, Calvin Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:06/27/2018

Seldom a day goes by when financial pages don't highlight new developments in the marijuana industry.

So, this is who we are today. Former B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is now on the corporate board of a major marijuana company. Former Toronto police chief and current MP Bill Blair is a point man on marijuana legalization. Former B.C. Solicitor General and West Vancouver Police Chief Kash Heed is a consultant for marijuana companies. The list of government and policing honchos who have jumped on the bandwagon is substantial.

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2 CN ON: Looking North Of The Border To Limit Heroin DeathsThu, 24 May 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Goodman, J. David Area:Ontario Lines:232 Added:05/24/2018

TORONTO - An aging construction worker arrived quietly in the building's basement, took his seat alongside three other men and struck his lighter below a cooker of synthetic heroin.

A woman, trained to intervene in case of an overdose, placed a mask over her face as his drug cooked and diluted beneath a jumping flame. He injected himself, grew still and then told of the loss of his wife who died alone in her room upstairs - an overdose that came just a few months before this social service nonprofit opened its doors for supervised injections.

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3 CN ON: Column: Enabling Drugs While Shunning SugarFri, 11 May 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Dreschel, Andrew Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:05/11/2018

It'€™s all about harm reduction and improving community health outcomes

No doubt some Hamiltonians are chuckling to hear city council is considering banning sugary drinks from city buildings to protect people's health.

With good reason.

The proposed ban by the public health department lands at the same time the city is moving ahead with opening its first safe injection site for drug addicts.

It's more than a little ironic that the city may be cracking down on sugar while enabling the use of illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine.

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4 CN ON: Ontario Tory Leader Doug Ford Says He's Dead AgainstFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Loriggio, Paola Area:Ontario Lines:101 Added:04/25/2018

Doug Ford says he is "dead against" supervised injection sites and believes the focus should be on drug rehabilitation instead.

And if elected premier of Ontario in June, the Progressive Conservative Leader says he will do everything he can to fight the opioid crisis and get people who are struggling with addiction the help they need.

"If your son, daughter, loved one ever had an addiction, would you want them to go in a little area and do more drugs? I am dead against that," Mr. Ford said Friday. "We have to help these people. We can't just keep feeding them and feeding them."

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5 Canada: Cannabis Debate: Legal Pot Is Far Safer For Youth ThanMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Elrod, Matthew M. Area:Canada Lines:108 Added:04/18/2018

Some remain skeptical the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will achieve one of its primary objectives: protecting youth from cannabis-related harms. Some feel the minimum age should be higher than the minimum age for alcohol, worried that those under 25 seem more vulnerable to dependence and health problems linked to long-term, heavy use.

Critics of the proposed minimum age may be overlooking another primary objective: displacing the black-market. Young adults aged 18 to 24 represent one third of the market. The act attempts to strike a balance between keeping marijuana away from minors and cash away from criminals.

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6CN AB: Ahs Doctor Worries More Kids Will Self-Medicate With Pot OnceMon, 16 Apr 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Ferguson, Eva Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:04/17/2018

Doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the legalization of marijuana.

With universities and schools providing few details around strategies for marijuana legalization, doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the inevitable increase in use and the impending impacts of what can be a dangerous drug.

Dr. Chris Wilkes, Alberta Health Services head of child and adolescent psychiatry, said educators "need to ramp it up" in terms of creating environments to ensure safety and informing youths about the health effects of marijuana.

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7 CN BC: Politicians Are Committed To Reducing Stigma Around Drug UseTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Grauer, Perrin Area:British Columbia Lines:85 Added:04/17/2018

VANCOUVER - Vancouver city councillors agreed the city's approach to harm reduction may appears extreme to those who haven't experienced the overdose crisis' impacts first-hand.

But Coun. Hector Bremner told StarMetro he thinks those skeptical of harm reduction simply haven't had an opportunity to learn how it really works.

"The average person going about their day to day life, worrying about their family and putting food on their table is not necessarily deeply involved in these issues," Bremner said. "And so they go with what they feel, or what they know, or what's the societal norm.

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8 CN BC: Researchers Look At Cannabis And Prescription Heroin To TackleWed, 04 Apr 2018
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Lakic, Sasa Area:British Columbia Lines:112 Added:04/06/2018

Studies show controlled drug use can reduce consumption of street drugs

As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users.

An analysis of opioid prescriptions in the U.S.published on Monday by the American Medical Association showed a significant decrease in opioid prescriptions in states that have adopted some sort of cannabis legislation. Using data from 2010 to 2015, the analysis counted 3.7 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed in states that allow weed dispensaries, while states that allow only home cultivation saw a decrease of 1.8 million daily prescribed doses.

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9CN BC: NPA Councillors Question City's Drug PoliciesWed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2018

News release that called for study to make personal use legal called 'a surprise'

Things started off on a pretty collegial tone Tuesday morning in Vancouver city council.

Much of the morning session was concerned with development plans for an 8.4-hectare site in south Vancouver. Councillors echoed their support for the project, and one commented on proceedings going "so smoothly." The mayor agreed, saying it was nice to conduct the meeting "without the kind of friction that can sometimes occur."

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10 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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11 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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12 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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13 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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14 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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15 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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16 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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17 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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18 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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19CN 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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20 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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21 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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22CN 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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23 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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24 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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25CN 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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26 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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27 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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28 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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29 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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30CN 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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