Introduced to the dangers of narcotics during public seminar held
Parents need to be involved and informed to help lower the risk of
accidental drug overdoses among young people.
That was the message heard Tuesday night at a public seminar organized
by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at Bridge Street United Church.
About 50 people attended the talk, which was intended as an
introduction for parents to the dangers of opioids, also known as
narcotics. They include such drugs as codeine, morphine, oxycodone and
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Independent local researchers are raising money for the third phase of
a groundbreaking study that uses the party drug ecstasy to treat
patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The study combines psychotherapy with the use of MDMA, which "enhances
the effectiveness of the psychotherapy by helping patients to access
and rework the unconscious painful emotions and memories in a safe
environment," according to the researchers.
MDMA has already shown promise as an adjunct to psychotherapy,
according to the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry medical journal. A
randomized controlled pilot study published in the Journal of
Psychopharmacology found that 83 per cent of PTSD patients responded
positively to psychotherapy combined with MDMA compared with just 25
per cent in the group that received psychotherapy alone.
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Naloxone kits are flying off the shelves at local pharmacies and the
Street Health Centre, as fentanyl continues its disastrous wave across
Dr. Meredith Mackenzie, a physician at the centre, said on Wednesday
that its clients are listening to their advice and reading news
reports and are making an effort to curb their use, but it's not working.
"People are much more aware of the drug contamination problem,"
Mackenzie said. "That means people are using more safely, they're
using less, but they are still overdosing, even though they have a big
tolerance. We're seeing people with high-opioid tolerance overdosing
on smaller amounts of drugs."
[continues 826 words]
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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Young brains more vulnerable to fentanyl and opioid addiction
At 23, Cameron Shaver seemed to be on track for success with a
landscaping business, a new car, and he was thinking about heading
back to school to take culinary arts.
The jack-of-all-trades from Winnipeg was an inspiration to his
friends. He'd come a long way from his earlier teen years, when he had
struggled with drug addiction. Back then, it was ecstasy.
Cameron had been clean for years when, last September, his mother
Sandi received the phone call that no mother should get. Cameron had
died of a fentanyl overdose.
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Canada loves being way up there, even No. 1, in those surveys about
the best places to visit or live. Not so cool? We're also No. 1 in
alcohol-related vehicle deaths among wealthy countries, according to a
study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting on 2015.
If we can't get our game together on alcohol, what's going to happen
when we add legalized marijuana to the mix? I pity the cops tasked
with judging a cornucopia of drug-addled drivers, dabbling from both
the illegal and legal sides of the aisle.
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How drug units deal with fentanyl
The death toll for fentanyl continues to rise in 2017, with nearly
double the number of deaths being reported in the first six weeks of
According to Health Canada, from Jan. 1 to Feb, 11, 51 people died
from overdosing on fentanyl. In 2016 during the same six weeks, 28
Albertans died as a result of a fentanyl overdose.
The drug was first found in St. Albert in 2014 and since then the St.
Albert RCMP's drug unit said that currently there is at least one pill
found in around 80 per cent of their overall drug cases.
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A tag hanging from a dead man's left toe says the cause of death was
an overdose of fentanyl, "unknowingly taken with other drugs."
The cadaver draped in a white sheet is displayed in transit ads funded
by the Vancouver Police Foundation and represents 922 people who died
in British Columbia from drug overdoses last year alone.
A spiralling number of deaths, often involving the painkiller
fentanyl, prompted the provincial government to declare a public
health emergency on April 14, 2016, and to launch its own awareness
campaign on TV, radio, Facebook, transit and at bars and
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Canada is preparing to legalize and regulate possession of marijuana -
with a target date of July 1, 2018.
It's a long overdue public policy with sound economic and health
arguments to back it up, notably: More harm is caused by criminal
prohibition and prosecution than the use of marijuana itself; Criminal
laws prohibiting possession do not deter use; Decriminalization of
possession does not lead to greater use; Decriminalization frees up
resources for police and the courts to deal with more serious crimes;
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Steady stream of customers out of luck as raid shutters popular Queen
St. E. retailer
A steady stream of exasperated, would-be customers standing on the
sunlit sidewalk outside the Toronto Leaf Dispensary on Queen St. E.
and Jarvis St. on Friday afternoon share a common refrain.
Just after 1 p.m., uniformed police officers and the city's bylaw
enforcement officers walked up to the frosted glass door of the
as-yet-illegal weed dispensary for a second go at raiding it.
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Four others in serious condition after ecstasy use at two city dance
Five overdoses near Toronto nightclubs early Saturday, including one
that killed a 24-year-old woman, triggered a health warning and calls
for clubs and authorities to take new steps to save lives.
Police say the overdoses involved the party drug MDMA, also known as
ecstasy. Tests should reveal if the woman also ingested fentanyl, a
toxic anesthetic sometimes mixed into other drugs, or another substance.
The overdoses near Uniun Nightclub, near Adelaide and Portland Sts.,
and Rebel Nightclub at Polson Pier are part of an alarming trend, said
Councillor Joe Cressy, who chairs the city's drugstrategy.
[continues 318 words]
Force believes missing money placed in police bank account
Halifax Regional Police have located 34 of 72 exhibits that were
missing from their evidence storage, but the remaining 38 - including
nearly $5,000 in cash - are still unaccounted for.
Chief Jean-Michel Blais will present a report to the municipality's
Board of Police Commissioners on Monday updating the force's progress
on finding the missing items from the Drug Exhibit Audit released last
That audit was conducted between June and November 2015 after an
officer was accused of stealing from an evidence vault. Police
originally found 90 per cent of the drug exhibits in one vault were
unaccounted for, and 55 per cent of the evidence in the money vault
wasn't where it was supposed to be.
[continues 278 words]
Health, community and emergency service agencies from the Kingston
area gathered Monday to plan for what many fear is a coming
With a sudden spike in opioid overdoses across the country, medical
experts, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, community health
groups and representatives from public health units from Kingston,
Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Grenville and Lanark and Prince
Edward County met for a daylong set of table-top exercises and
discussions about how best to cope with the opioid overdose crisis
should it hit the Kingston area.
[continues 391 words]
WATERLOO REGION - A group of parents sit around a small table. Their
eyes are red from crying.
Nearby are framed photos of the children they have lost to drug
overdoses. Among them are Iain Goddard, Brittany Cobbing and Austin
Janice Walsh-Goddard didn't even know what fentanyl was when she heard
it killed her son.
Iain Goddard died last May while Janice was in England on vacation.
She got the call on the last day of her weeklong trip.
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When asked if fentanyl is the now biggest reason to fear recreational
drugs, Valemount RCMP Officer, Chris Gallant said, "To answer the
question simply, yes."
The Valemount Secondary School hosted a fentanyl forum to educate
residents on what fentanyl is, what an overdose looks like and how to
reverse the effects of an overdose. A similar presentation was given
to students earlier in the day.
Principal Dan Kenkel emceed the forum and the panel consisted of the
B.C. Ambulance Service's (BCAS), Dakota Stone, B.C. Emergency Health
Services' (BCEHS) Community Paramedic, Jasmin Gasser, Northern Health
Mental Health and Addictions Counselor, Heather Whalen, Northern
Health Community Health Nurse, Bernita Nesjan, and RCMP Officer, Chris
[continues 578 words]
Reporter's eerie experience in simulator suit
I felt like Jimmy Hoffa with one leg encased in cement.
I was lurching because of my super heavy left leg, which made it tough
to walk and impossible to navigate in a straight line.
My ears buzzed with random sounds.
My double vision was blurry with flashing red, blue and green lights
on the periphery.
If I shut one eye I could kind of focus on what was straight ahead.
When four tennis balls were lobbed my way, I was so uncoordinated and
my reaction time so slow I couldn't catch one. My right arm
chronically twitched and I could barely turn my neck or bend my elbows
because of my restricted movement.
[continues 412 words]
Here we are in the biggest fatal overdose epidemic in B.C. history and
what's top of mind for the province's addiction treatment experts? The
need to "destigmatize" addiction. In fact, let's not even call the
taking of deadly illegal drugs an "addiction" or "drug abuse" any
more, they tell us. We're supposed to call addicts "patients" with a
Excuse me if I don't buy the nicey-nicey language. And I doubt if most
people who live in the real world and who have to pay millions of
dollars in taxes for all these latest trendy approaches to drug
addiction do, either.
[continues 703 words]
All first responders in the Fernie area are now equipped to take on a
potential opioid crisis.
Fernie Fire and Rescue were the last group in the area to become
trained in opioid overdose situations by BC Emergency Health Services.
The main area of focus for training was on Naloxone, the antidote for
Unable to give any numbers at this time, Elk Valley RCMP Corporal Bob
Wright did state that, "We have responded to Fentanyl drug use in the
Elk Valley. It has resulted in overdose-type situations."
[continues 623 words]
Provincial health officer says powerful drug, found in recent
treatment-facility tests, may be to blame for spike in deaths last
The appearance of the deadly opioid carfentanil may explain the
dramatic spike in overdoses in British Columbia, despite efforts to
slow the carnage, the provincial health officer says.
Perry Kendall said as the number of overdose deaths climbed to record
levels in November and December, officials suspected the synthetic
drug normally used as a tranquilizer on large animals such as
elephants was to blame.
[continues 404 words]
Nelson Police Chief aims to educate public and those vulnerable to
The numbers are terrifying.
Nelson Police Chief Paul Burkart has the B.C.Coroners Service annual
report sitting on his desk, as well as alarming Interior Health
statistics that show fentanyl has come to the Kootenays.
In 2016 there were 914 overdose deaths in B.C.,a record number for the
province and more than double the total for 2015.
"It certainly does scare me," Burkart told the Star.
[continues 1045 words]