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1 Canada: OPED: High performance: Can Pot Make Us Better Athletes?Mon, 16 Oct 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Landini, Paul Area:Canada Lines:106 Added:10/20/2017

A lot has changed since Ross Rebagliati's legendary performance at the 1998 Winter Olympics. After winning gold for Canada in the first-ever Olympic snowboarding event, the Vancouver-born athlete was then stripped of his medal when he tested positive for THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana. An appeal resulted in the return of Rebagliati's medal (marijuana wasn't on the banned-substance list at the time), while people around the world wondered how someone even stays upright while flying down a mountain on a thin wooden plank stoned.

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2 CN NK: N.B. Lagging On Opioid Response: ActivistsTue, 10 Oct 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Leeder, Jessica Area:New Brunswick Lines:138 Added:10/10/2017

Grassroots harm-reduction initiative launched as those on the front lines lament provincial government's boardroom approach

Health officials in New Brunswick are taking too long to address the serious and growing opioid problem in the province's two largest cities, say local harm-reduction activists who have launched a grassroots initiative in the face of what they describe as government inaction.

It has been more than six months since the province's top doctor formed an advisory group to come up with solutions to address the issue, but the government's response so far has been lean compared with that of other Atlantic provinces and the rest of the country.

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3CN ON: OPED: Why 'Pop-Up' Prevention Sites Are LegitWed, 04 Oct 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Elliott, Richard Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2017

Despite the mounting toll of overdose-related deaths in Ontario, Ottawa's mayor and certain city councillors are trying to close a "pop-up" overdose prevention site in Raphael Brunet Park. The site, staffed by concerned volunteers with Overdose Prevention Ottawa and funded via community donations, provides life-saving harm reduction services for people who use drugs. There have been more than 1,150 visits and no fatalities since it opened five weeks ago.

Various political "leaders" in Ottawa have criticized pop-up site organizers and been quick to presume the illegality of the site. The site operates without a federal ministerial exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which means that those using illegal drugs at the site can still be charged for possession when using a service that could mean the difference between life and death.

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4 CN AB: Column: Important Things To Know About Recreational AndTue, 03 Oct 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Bharwani, Area:Alberta Lines:87 Added:10/06/2017

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and chief medical correspondent for CNN is reported to have said, "Every 19 minutes somebody dies of a prescription drug overdose. It doesn't happen with marijuana." In the past Gupta was against legalising medical marijuana in the U.S. but now he is in favour of it. He sees some benefit for certain types of illnesses.

The use of medical marijuana (medical cannabis) as a medicine has not been rigorously tested due to several restrictions. But there is some evidence to suggest cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and reduce chronic pain and muscle spasm.

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5 Switzerland: Commission Makes Recommendations For Tackling OpioidMon, 02 Oct 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Switzerland Lines:110 Added:10/06/2017

The Global Commission on Drug Policy has issued recommendations on tackling North America's opioid crisis, calling for the immediate expansion of harm reduction services, the decriminalization and regulation of currently illicit drugs and an initiative to allow interested cities to de facto decriminalize as federal debates over drug policy continue.

The position paper, to be released on Monday, comes in advance of the final report of the White House opioid commission, led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, due out in November.

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6Canada: Column: The War On Drugs Is Lost. Try Something ElseSat, 30 Sep 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Black, Conrad Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:10/05/2017

The principal initiative undertaken by the Trudeau government has been the legalization of marijuana under tight rules still being elaborated.

I have had a good deal of exposure to the American policy of the so-called War on Drugs, from my time dealing with many pushers and users as students for secondary school matriculation when I was in prison in the United States. I had long been a skeptic about the War on Drugs, which has cost the United States over a trillion dollars and caused the imprisonment of more than two million people (but very few of the kingpins), all while illegal drug use has increased appreciably. The price of drugs has not risen much; supply has not been strained, despite increased use among a growing population.

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7 US: Column: How To Win A War On DrugsSun, 24 Sep 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kristof, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:252 Added:09/27/2017

Portugal treats addiction as a disease, not a crime.

LISBON - On a broken-down set of steps, a 37-year-old fisherman named Mario mixed heroin and cocaine and carefully prepared a hypodermic needle. "It's hard to find a vein," he said, but he finally found one in his forearm and injected himself with the brown liquid. Blood trickled from his arm and pooled on the step, but he was oblivious.

"Are you O.K.?" Rita Lopes, a psychologist working for an outreach program called Crescer, asked him. "You're not taking too much?" Lopes monitors Portuguese heroin users like Mario, gently encourages them to try to quit and gives them clean hypodermics to prevent the spread of AIDS.

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8 CN ON: Reported Overdoses Tip Of IcebergSat, 23 Sep 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Young, Gord Area:Ontario Lines:102 Added:09/27/2017

Many cases unreported due to naloxone distribution, says health official

There's likely a large number of unreported opioid overdoses in North Bay.

That's because the antidote naloxone is being distributed by pharmacies and front-line organizations to those struggling with addiction, as well as their friends and family members, throughout the community.

Kathleen Jodouin, HIV education co-ordinator at the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area, says her organization has had a take-home naloxone program in place for the past two years. And, she says, the drug, which temporarily reverses the effects of heroin and other opioid drugs, is frequently given out.

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9 US NJ: Paterson: Inside Needle Exchange, Clients Defend The ProgramFri, 22 Sep 2017
Source:Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Author:Rumley, Ed Area:New Jersey Lines:129 Added:09/26/2017

PATERSON -- About a dozen men and women sat on hard plastic chairs early Wednesday morning inside a conference room at the Well of Hope Drop-In Center on Broadway, where a flat screen television broadcast sports highlights on ESPN.

Some came for the free coffee. A sign said the limit was one cup per hour. Others were there to use the showers and toilet facilities. A 57-year-old man who would only give his name as "Julius" was waiting to see a nurse about a blister on his foot.

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10 CN ON: City's Ranking 'Wake-Up Call'Sat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Expositor, The (CN ON) Author:Ball, Vincent Area:Ontario Lines:178 Added:09/20/2017

Report puts Brantford at top in province for emergency room visits due to opioid poisoning,

A report putting Brantford at the top of the provincial list for emergency room visits due to opioid overdoses is a "wake-up call," says Ruth Gratton.

"I think this report validates all of the hard work that is being done in the community and will serve as justification for ramping up those efforts," Gratton, manager of infectious disease at the Brant County Health Unit, said Friday.

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11 CN ON: Editorial: Decriminalize All Drugs? Not A Bad IdeaSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:119 Added:09/19/2017

NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh's recent promise that, as prime minister, he would move quickly to drop criminal penalties for possession or purchase of small amounts of all drugs will no doubt seem radical to many.

Broad-based decriminalization would be a stark reversal after decades of increasingly punitive policies. And this would certainly add a layer of complication to the already-complicated task of legalizing marijuana, which Ottawa and the provinces are struggling to do by next summer. The Trudeau government's current position on decriminalization is understandable: Ottawa already has its hands full with pot.

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12 CN NS: What Harm Reduction Really MeansTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Sullivan, Nikki Area:Nova Scotia Lines:59 Added:09/19/2017

Harm reduction is one kind of treatment approach for helping people with substance abuse disorders and it can be confusing for people not familiar with it.

"Sometimes people think it's abstinence versus harm reduction but that isn't true," said Laura Chapman, health promotion specialist with Mental Health and Addiction Services.

"Harm reduction absolutely includes abstinence."

Chapman and many other clinical therapists, counsellors and other professionals working directly with people suffering from substance abuse disorders feel harm reduction is an important tool.

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13 CN BC: Singh Vows To Decriminalize Petty Drug Charges At NDP DebateTue, 12 Sep 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:118 Added:09/14/2017

A federal New Democratic leadership hopeful has pledged to make it party policy to decriminalize petty drug possession if he is elected leader, supporting calls by an increasing number of health officials who say it would help lift the stigma around addiction.

Jagmeet Singh made his pledge on Sunday at an NDP leadership debate in Vancouver, a city that had recorded nearly 250 suspected overdose deaths by the end of August. Across British Columbia, 876 people died of illicit-drug overdoses from January through July of this year.

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14 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalize Pot To Save Canadian LivesThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Manning, Jan Area:British Columbia Lines:59 Added:09/09/2017

According to Dr. Michael O'Malley and Dr. Kiri Simms (via CBC), marijuana-induced psychosis has increased in the last 10 years. I do not dispute their claims.

THC in pot sold on the street contributes to the problem. In fact, as with any illegal street-sold drug, the more potent the active ingredient, the better for sales. Yet, it's highly unlikely that the seller is concerned about the amount of THC in the pot he sells on the street, except for repeat sales.

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15 CN AB: Drug Overdose Support Group RalliesTue, 05 Sep 2017
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:Bird, Cullen Area:Alberta Lines:123 Added:09/08/2017

An opioid crisis is bringing together friends and family members of overdose victims who want to support others going through the same pain.

Fort McMurray residents Mari-Lee Paluszak, 55, and Holly Meints, 51, both lost sons to accidental overdoses last year. Both attended Overdose Awareness Day at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library last Thursday to help put a face to the drug overdose problem, and to promote a support group for people suffering the same grief as their own. Their new group, On A Dragonfly's Wings, is meant to provide mutual support for grieving family members of overdose victims.

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16 CN AB: A Prickly IssueSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:117 Added:09/08/2017

Discarded needles in the spotlight as Edmonton tackles overdose crisis, safe injection sites

Cardboard boxes filled with syringes fill every nook and cranny of the Streetworks office at Boyle Street Community Services.

They're stacked on top of cabinets, in corners and underneath a table in the centre of the brightly lit office. Unboxed sharps, wrapped in plastic, are stored in bins along a counter where people who use drugs can pick up clean supplies.

The boxes go "wherever we can stuff them," said Marliss Taylor, program manager at Streetworks. Last year, the service distributed a record two-and-a-quarter million syringes through its needle exchange van and exchange sites throughout the city. The goal, Taylor said, is to "flood the market" with clean needles, reducing the health impacts of intravenous drug use.

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17 CN ON: Column: High Time For New Fix To Opioid CrisisSat, 02 Sep 2017
Source:North Bay Nugget (CN ON) Author:Dale, Dave Area:Ontario Lines:119 Added:09/07/2017

There are a lot of very smart people in North Bay. It would be interesting to see if the bright lights here can find an opportunity hiding in the weeds to solve the opioid crisis.

And I'm not referring to emergency funding injections or quick-fix policy.

More than 700 health-care professionals urged the province this week to declare an emergency so more funding can flow to Ontario's front-line programs.

Overdose prevention sites, they say, need a boost to stem the tide as deaths are mounting beyond even the HIV pandemic decades ago.

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18 CN ON: Up Against OverdoseFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Bain, Jason Area:Ontario Lines:89 Added:09/06/2017

Awareness day: City police station flags lowered to remember those lost to drugs, alcohol

Everyone has a role in battling the stigma that can be even more damaging to addicts than drugs themselves, the medical officer of health said as city police hosted an event to mark International Overdose Awareness Day on Thursday.

Directing judgements and negative attitudes towards those suffering from addiction only perpetuate fear and avoidance, and as a result, poorer outcomes for them, said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra of Peterborough Public Health.

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19 CN BC: Editorial: Healing Drug Crisis Takes All Our HelpWed, 06 Sep 2017
Source:Victoria News (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:52 Added:09/06/2017

With too many drug overdoses and deaths, best way still to reduce risk is abstinence

Marking an International Overdose Awareness Day, as was done in Victoria with a ceremony and vigil in Centennial Square on Aug. 31, might seem moot, as few are unaware of the devastation and sadness caused in recent years by the use of drugs.

But this day not only brought light to the worst human health crisis in B.C. since the AIDS epidemic, it memorialized those who have died seeking an escape from the pain of life through ingesting drugs.

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20 CN NF: 'We're Trying To Save Lives'Sat, 02 Sep 2017
Source:Telegram, The (CN NF) Author:Plowman, Victoria Area:Newfoundland Lines:92 Added:09/02/2017

Advocate sees a role for public health nurses in fighting opioid crisis in rural communities

The opioid crisis in St. John's is far from over, and a community advocate wants to see changes.

"We see people every day who are at risk," said Tree Walsh, the harm reduction manager at the Safe Works Access Program (SWAP) for the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador. "We're trying to save lives, and we're trying to prevent deaths, but as soon as the pharmaceutical supply of opioids dries up, which is happening now … things are going to get so much worse."

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