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1CN AB: Column: If Scourge Of Opioid Deaths Isn't An Emergency, ThenTue, 07 Mar 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Braid, Don Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/09/2017

Some columns are hard to write because it's almost impossible to stop watching the events that propel them.

That's the way it was with Monday's emergency legislature debate on opioid addiction and deaths.

It was fascinating, emotional, moving and very informative. It might have surprised many Albertans who think politicians have no clue about real life.

MLAs on all sides - Wildrose, PC, Alberta Party, Liberal and NDP - have seen the carnage close up.

Progressive Conservative MLA Rick Fraser, a former EMS worker, recalled arriving at a residence to find a 14-year-old boy who'd seemed perfectly normal when he arrived home, only to die shortly afterward in the basement.

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2 CN BC: PM Attends Roundtable On Opioid CrisisSat, 04 Mar 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:103 Added:03/06/2017

Attendees at the meeting urged Trudeau to consider extra funding and expanded access to injectable opioid treatment

Canada's Prime Minister and Minister of Defence met with people on the front lines of B.C.'s overdose crisis on Friday, listening as they spoke candidly about the urgent need to scale up treatment options, the province's record death toll and the emotional impact it's had on first responders.

But while those who attended the meeting in the Downtown Eastside clinic said the visit by Justin Trudeau and Harjit Sajjan was appreciated and deeply meaningful, the Prime Minister offered no promises on specific requests, such as dedicated funding for, and reduced barriers to, heroin-assisted treatment.

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3 CN ON: 'Where's The Fent?'Sat, 04 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Gillis, Megan Area:Ontario Lines:65 Added:03/06/2017

AIDS Committee of Ottawa offering strips to test urine

A project launched this week by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa is offering urine test strips that reveal to people who have used drugs whether they've been unwittingly exposed to the powerful opioid fentanyl.

"We're hoping to give community members a free and simple way to find out whether or not they've been exposed to fentanyl through recent substance use and we're also hoping, if we can, to collect a bit of data on what those results might be," explained ACO harm reduction co-ordinator Caleb Chepesiuk.

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4CN ON: Test Strips Let Users See If They've Been Exposed To FentanylSat, 04 Mar 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Gillis, Megan Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2017

AIDS committee hopes to use results for study

A project launched this week by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa is offering urine test strips that reveal to people who have used drugs whether they've been unwittingly exposed to the powerful opioid fentanyl.

"We're hoping to give community members a free and simple way to find out whether or not they've been exposed to fentanyl through recent substance use and we're also hoping, if we can, to collect a bit of data on what those results might be," ACO harm reduction coordinator Caleb Chepesiuk said.

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5 CN ON: Health Board Hears Of Harm-Reduction StrategyThu, 02 Mar 2017
Source:Northumberland Today (CN ON) Author:MacDonald, Valerie Area:Ontario Lines:65 Added:03/06/2017

PORT HOPE - Naloxone, administered as a nasal spray or by needle, is being distributed to stakeholders in the community (including emergency responder), to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, says Peterborough AIDS Resource Network prevention and education co-ordinator, Chris Jardin -a membert of the Harm Reduction Programming Committee of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

But Jardin says it should be spread more widely.

Key training is taking place among the key stakeholders of the communities in the tri-county area of the health unit, Hardin said, and the Port Hope-based health unit itself will become a distributing site for Naloxone.

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6 CN BC: Substance Users Lose A Devoted AdvocateSat, 25 Feb 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Brait, Ellen Area:British Columbia Lines:122 Added:02/27/2017

A celebration of Balian's life to be held Saturday afternoon

Raffi Balian, a fierce advocate for harm reduction and the rights of drug users, died on Feb.16 in Vancouver, according to the B.C. Coroners Service. He was 60 years old.

Balian was attending a national meeting about supervised drug consumption services at the time. He died from an "accidental overdose," according to a release from the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, but the B.C. Coroners Service said a definite cause of death has not yet been determined.

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7 US: When Older Age Comes With Daily Doses Of Medical MarijuanaMon, 20 Feb 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hu, Winnie Area:United States Lines:193 Added:02/25/2017

Ruth Brunn finally said yes to marijuana. She is 98.

She pops a green pill filled with cannabis oil into her mouth with a sip of vitamin water. Then Ms. Brunn, who has neuropathy, settles back in her wheelchair and waits for the jabbing pain in her shoulders, arms and hands to ebb.

"I don't feel high or stoned," she said. "All I know is I feel better when I take this."

Ms. Brunn will soon have company. The nursing home in New York City where she lives, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is taking the unusual step of helping its residents use medical marijuana under a new program to treat various illnesses with an alternative to prescription drugs. While the staff will not store or administer pot, residents are allowed to buy it from a dispensary, keep it in locked boxes in their rooms and take it on their own.

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8 Fiji: Counting On The Trendy To Revive Kava, A Traditional DrinkFri, 24 Feb 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Solomon, Serena Area:Fiji Lines:150 Added:02/24/2017

VATUKALO, Fiji - Before kava makes its way to a new wave of trendy bars in places like Brooklyn and Berkeley, Calif., it must be nurtured and plucked by people like Livai Tavesivesi.

A sun-weathered farmer on the Fijian island of Ovalau, Mr. Tavesivesi, 47, once farmed kava - the main ingredient in a drink long used by residents to attain a mellow buzz - much the way people here did for centuries. First, he washed its gnarled roots in a nearby river. Then he diced them, dried them in the sun and pounded them into powder with a tabili, a supersize mortar and pestle. Finally, he carried it three miles into town to be sold. "If we didn't have a horse or car, we had to carry it," he said.

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9 CN BC: Column: Bad Drug Policy KillsMon, 20 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Mullins, Garth Area:British Columbia Lines:82 Added:02/21/2017

Last month, my colleague Laurie P. died of overdose, one of 116 fatal ODs in B.C. in January. She was a harm reduction activist and had a graceful, inclusive style of community organizing.

We've been here before.

During prohibition, people got sick and died from potent or contaminated bootlegged booze. Organized crime flourished. Then, liquor was legalized again.

It's time to do the same with hard drugs.

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized possession of all drugs. Overdose deaths and HIV transmission rates fell. Drug use is down and treatment is up. Trafficking remains illegal but users get health services, not jail time.

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10 CN BC: Mayor Calls For Drug Injection Rooms In All Government HotelsThu, 16 Feb 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Howell, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:149 Added:02/21/2017

The B.C. government owns more than 25 low-income hotels in community hit hardest by overdose drug deaths

Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling on the provincial government to set up drug injection rooms in all of the single-room-occupancy hotels it owns in the Downtown Eastside as another measure to prevent people from dying of a drug overdose.

The provincial government owns more than 25 hotels in the Downtown Eastside, where people are dying at an alarming rate of overdoses largely linked to the deadly synthetic narcotic fentanyl.

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11 Canada: OPED: How To Fight The Fentanyl EpidemicMon, 13 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Gilmore, Norbert Area:Canada Lines:98 Added:02/16/2017

As deaths mount, it's time to think the unthinkable and supply users with measured doses of pharmaceutically 'pure' heroin

For more than 30 years, until retiring as a physician in Montreal, I cared for and studied people who became infected, sick or died from HIV infection. Now, Canada faces a new epidemic.

It is an epidemic of overdose deaths, disease, disability and destitution from fentanyl-adulturated street heroin. Lessons from the HIV epidemic might help us to understand and respond quickly and successfully to this new and seemingly uncontrolled epidemic.

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12 CN ON: Waste Needles Make PointMon, 13 Feb 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:72 Added:02/16/2017

Volunteers clean up 1,000 discards a year in a city weighing supervised drug injection site.

Tom Cull has more than 1,000 reasons - discarded needles - for London to support a supervised drug injection site.

"We pick them up under bridges, along the watercourse, on the (river) banks, in parks," he says.

Once a month, from the beginning of April to the start of winter, he and his crew of volunteers with the Thames River Rally pick up garbage along the river in London.

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13 Canada: Beyond Harm ReductionSat, 11 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Canada Lines:253 Added:02/14/2017

Sixteen years after Vancouver formally adopted a 'four pillars' approach to drug strategy, the city - and the province - finds itself in the grip of an overdose crisis, Andrea Woo writes

Melody Cooper throws a purple ball across the well-worn grass at the East Vancouver dog park, sending her dog, Squeak, bounding across the field. The Jack Russell-poodle cross is wearing a camouflage coat, pulled taut by a belly that jiggles with each bound.

"I didn't realize how much weight he had gained until recently," Ms. Cooper says, watching the dog from her seat on a park bench. "My mother pointed it out. She said, 'Look at him: When he lies on his side, two of his feet are still dangling in the air.' "

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14 CN ON: Letter: Inject Some GoalsSat, 11 Feb 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bush, Tim Area:Ontario Lines:46 Added:02/14/2017

Regarding the article "Set up safe needle site in London, study says" (Feb. 9).

If London is going ahead with safe injection sites why do we not get a doctor or nurse practitioner to run it with the goal of weaning these people off the drug?

Set it up so if they are enrolled in the program they will be safe from prosecution, and if they do not sign up for it they will be prosecuted if caught with it.

The ones signed up can sit down with the doctor when they first join and they can figure out together how much they use a day, how many times a day and how much each time. From there the doctor and addict can set up a reduction plan so that each time they come in it can be slightly reduced by so much a day for a week, and then each week after reducing again slightly.

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15 CN SN: Plan Takes Shape For Safe Injection SiteSat, 11 Feb 2017
Source:Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN) Author:White-Crummey, Arthur Area:Saskatchewan Lines:147 Added:02/14/2017

Evert Botha promises his "unwavering support" for the project, and plans to lobby to make it a reality

Steps are in motion to bring a safe injection site to Prince Albert, as part of a comprehensive plan for treating infectious disease and drug addiction.

Councillor Evert Botha plans to push council to lend its approval to the initiative, which he says will reduce crime, take needles off the street and help vulnerable people.

"I will be asking my fellow councillors and the mayor that we support the establishment, as a city, of a supervised injection site," he said.

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16 CN ON: Set Up Safe Needle Site In London, Study SaysThu, 09 Feb 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:135 Added:02/11/2017

A startling dissection of drug use in London - with the personal illnesses and public ills exposed - has laid on the table a compelling case for a supervised injection site in the city.

But the sticky questions of exactly where the site or sites should go, whether the city can take the other steps necessary to make a site worthwhile, and how crystal meth and fentanyl will play a role remain unanswered.

The lead researcher of a study on providing supervised injection in London did have one answer for residents still questioning the sanity of giving people a place to inject their illicit drugs.

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17 CN ON: Injection Sites EncouragedWed, 08 Feb 2017
Source:Chronicle-Journal, The (CN ON) Author:Vis, Matt Area:Ontario Lines:162 Added:02/10/2017

Even though supervised injection services have been deemed feasible for Thunder Bay, many questions need to be answered before a facility - - or possibly two - can become a reality.

The results of a Supervised Injection Services feasibility study were presented Tuesday. The study recommends the city consider establishing at least two sites in Thunder Bay, one in each of the north and south cores.

Coun. Rebecca Johnson, chair of the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy, said public consultation will be required to see if there is support before any potential locations are examined.

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18CN BC: Editorial: Is Free Heroin The Best Route?Tue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2017

More than 900 British Columbians died of illicit drug overdoses last year. That's 80 per cent more than 2015, and the highest total ever recorded in our province. Nor is there an end in sight.

Drug deaths climbed throughout 2016, reaching 142 in the month of December alone. If that trend continues, we could conceivably see 1,700 fatalities or more this year. Those are disastrous numbers.

The main effort to curtail fentanyl deaths has focused on the antidote naloxone. Kits are being handed out to users, their families and first-response teams across the province.

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19 CN ON: Safe London Needle Site Study's Out TomorrowTue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:83 Added:02/10/2017

Amid rising HIV rates and an entrenched needle culture, London researchers will unveil Wednesday a study on the value of a supervised injection site in the city.

Researchers interviewed 200 people who are or were injection drug users to assess people's willingness to use the sites and about 20 representatives from health care, law enforcement, government and community organizations to get feedback.

"There are several general recommendations based on the results of the study," but no specific direction to any agency or organization, Western University researcher Ayden Scheim said Monday.

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20 CN QU: Three Montreal Sites Approved For Supervised ConsumptionTue, 07 Feb 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:Quebec Lines:94 Added:02/10/2017

Health Canada has approved three supervised consumption sites for Montreal - the first federal approvals for the harm-reduction facilities outside of Vancouver as Ottawa presses forward in its response to Canada's overdose crisis.

Montreal has waited two years for federal sign-off on the sites, during which fatal overdoses linked to illicit fentanyl have surged in parts of Canada, notably British Columbia and Alberta. The federal department announced the approvals on Monday, noting that such sites have shown positive results in Canada and other countries.

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