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121 CN ON: Ontario Lags On Naloxone AccessibilityWed, 18 May 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:White, Patrick Area:Ontario Lines:95 Added:05/20/2016

Bureaucratic tangles, such as a lengthy drug-reclassification process, hold up making overdose remedy available without prescription

A cheap, life-saving antidote to an affliction that kills more Ontarians than car crashes every year remains hard to obtain in the province despite mounting pressure from public health officials and moves by other provinces to broaden its availability.

The drug naloxone is a safe and powerful remedy to opioid overdoses, a rising public-health crisis owing to a wave of bootleg fentanyl across the country that claims a life in Ontario every 14 hours, according to one estimate. The problem is even worse in Alberta and British Columbia, where provincial governments are countering the epidemic in part by shipping naloxone to community pharmacies for distribution free of charge to anyone, even those without a prescription.

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122 US OH: Ohio House Approves Medical Marijuana BillWed, 11 May 2016
Source:Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Author:Provance, Jim Area:Ohio Lines:126 Added:05/11/2016

COLUMBUS - In the biggest shift in state drug policy in decades, the Ohio House voted 71-26 on Tuesday to legalize marijuana for medical use only.

The bill heads to the Senate, where hearings will begin today. Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger voiced confidence that a bill could reach Gov. John Kasich's desk before the General Assembly recesses for the summer before Memorial Day.

Kasich spokesman Joe Andrews said the governor has not committed to signing this bill, but would sign one if it "is written properly and there is a need for it."

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123 US CA: North Bay Needle Exchanges Fill Need, Lack MoneySun, 08 May 2016
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Warren, Christi Area:California Lines:127 Added:05/08/2016

UKIAH - Mendocino County's needle exchange is reached off Highway 101 after winding through verdant hills and past multimillion-dollar wineries. It's a simple two-story bungalow with white lace curtains on a Ukiah street where, on a recent sunny afternoon, several drug addicts waited to exchange used syringes.

Operated as part of the Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network, it collected and redistributed about 127,000 needles last year over the course of 6,259 visits, said Libby Guthrie, the network's executive director.

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124 CN ON: Users Inject Reality Into Safe-Site StudyThu, 05 May 2016
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:05/05/2016

Researchers looking into a safe drug-injection site in London have finished interviewing 200 needle users.

Now, they face another set of interview subjects - such as police, and politicians - who may not be as welcoming of a site.

"It's to gain feedback, their perceptions and knowledge about the issues they might face," Geoff Bardwell, who is co-ordinating the research, said Wednesday. "There is going to be a variety of perspectives. What we are hoping to do is ensure we capture all the perspectives."

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125 US OH: Newest Pot Bill Would Bar SmokingWed, 04 May 2016
Source:Columbus Dispatch (OH) Author:Rowland, Darrel Area:Ohio Lines:69 Added:05/04/2016

Ohioans could not legally smoke medical marijuana under a revamped proposal being rolled out today by state legislators.

Those with a prescription for medical marijuana would be allowed to use vaporization or other inhalant devices.

But the new restriction in the legislation, targeted for a House vote Tuesday, probably sets up a public battle with supporters of proposed November ballot issues that would allow smoking.

Rep. Kirk Schuring of Canton, who was set to brief his fellow GOP House members Tuesday night on the revised measure, said he hopes the special committee he chairs approves the new plan Thursday after seeing it for the first time today. After House passage, Schuring said, he is optimistic the Senate and Kasich administration will quickly approve Ohio becoming the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana.

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126 US CA: PUB LTE: Different Approach To Treat AddictionsThu, 28 Apr 2016
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Pyle, Lorna Area:California Lines:30 Added:04/30/2016

In response to "Safe injection center or harm reduction folly" (April 8), the belief that the lives of heroin users are worth saving is no folly. Contrary to Debra J. Saunders' assertions, heroin addicts do not use because it is easy. They use because they struggle with addiction, a mental disorder that is defined by continued use despite risk of self-harm. The harm reduction model recognizes that people struggling with heroin addiction will use whether or not they have access to clean needles. From the nursing perspective, San Francisco needs safe injection centers. These centers will limit the number of overdoses, the transmission of hepatitis C or HIV, and the public's exposure to dirty needles. While the city needs more rehabilitation programs, especially long-term treatment centers that accept clients without private insurance, recovery is not a realistic option for all. Safe injection centers can act as a gateway to treatment and protect intravenous drug users who continue to struggle with addiction.

Lorna Pyle, San Francisco

[end]

127 CN ON: Residents Upset Over Potential Safe Injection Site NearThu, 28 Apr 2016
Source:City Centre Mirror (CN ON) Author:Skinner, Justin Area:Ontario Lines:107 Added:04/30/2016

With a safe injection site potentially slated to open up at The Works near Yonge and Dundas, some members of the public are angry over a lack of public consultation prior to the location being selected.

At a public meeting on Wednesday, April 20, Toronto Centre-Rosedale (Ward 27) Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, City of Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown and The Works manager Shaun Hopkins offered up some facts and details about safe injection sites in general.

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128Canada: Column: Vancouveras Used Needle ProblemThu, 28 Apr 2016
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Hutchinson, Brian Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/30/2016

You have found a used needle, in one of the last places you ever expected - or wanted - to see one. On the playground. Inside the schoolyard. On the beach. Now what?

Shiloh Sukkau was shocked at first. Then resigned. Now she's upset. Same with Joel Reid and Jessica Leung, and now they're speaking out.

Three people, unknown to each other, living and working in different parts of the city. Finding dirty needles in public places. Kids' spaces.

In this permissive city, where open drug use is sadly common, people have finally reached a boiling point. They're fed up with finding dangerous materials left behind by intravenous drug users, whose numbers in Vancouver exceed 12,000, according to local health authorities.

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129 CN BC: Officials Call For Drug DecriminalizationFri, 22 Apr 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:119 Added:04/24/2016

Treating addicts as if they are criminals doesn't help them, nor does it stem public appetite for illicit substances, health experts say

Top health officials in British Columbia are calling for a significant change in drug policy that would ensure people who use illicit drugs do not face criminal charges for it.

Dr. Perry Kendall, B. C.' s provincial health officer, said he supports decriminalization because treating users as criminals has been costly and ineffective.

"Focusing on people who have become dependent on drugs as criminals means we spend a lot of money on law enforcement, which doesn't actually appear to have stemmed the appetite for drugs," he said. "It hasn't helped move people who are dependent on drugs into health-care facilities; in fact, they have become very marginalized over time. Because they are marginalized, their use of drugs has often gone up, and has been accompanied by HIV and hepatitis C infections."

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130 US NY: UN Session on World Drug Problem After 'War Approach'Wed, 20 Apr 2016
Source:Pretoria News, The (South Africa) Author:Cullinan, Kerry Area:New York Lines:144 Added:04/22/2016

FOR THE first time in 20 years, the UN has convened a special session on "the world drug problem" amid fierce international debate about whether drug users should primarily be punished or rehabilitated.

The UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs, which started yesterday and is scheduled to run until tomorrow, was called after Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala appealed to the body to revise the global approach to illegal drugs.

After two decades - and a trillion or so dollars later - the "war-on-drugs" approach of criminalising drug users has dismally failed to prevent the distribution and use of illegal drugs.

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131 US NY: Illicit Drugs Pose Global ProblemWed, 20 Apr 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Simmons, Ann M. Area:New York Lines:117 Added:04/21/2016

Consumers Number About 246 Million, With the U.S. Leading the Way and Cannabis the Top Narcotic.

As leaders from around the world gather in New York for what many are calling the most important summit on illegal drugs in two decades, one thing is clear: The world has a serious drug problem.

Worldwide, about 246 million people use illicit drugs, and 1 in 10 of these users suffer from disorders related to drug use. Of the estimated 12 million people who inject drugs, at least 1.6 million are also living with HIV, while slightly more than half suffer from hepatitis C. Each year, 200,000 people suffer drug-related deaths, such as overdoses.

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132 South Africa: Harm Reduction May Be The AnswerWed, 20 Apr 2016
Source:Mercury, The (South Africa) Author:Cullinan, Kerry Area:South Africa Lines:136 Added:04/20/2016

Many at the UN General Assembly this week, not least the Latin American countries, tired of the problems borne of criminalising users, will make the case for harm-reduction programmes, writes Kerry Cullinan.

FOR THE first time in 20 years, the UN has convened a special session on "the world drug problem" amid fierce international debate about whether drug users should primarily be punished or rehabilitated.

The UN General Assembly special session on drugs, which started yesterday and runs until tomorrow, was called after Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala appealed to the body to revise the global approach to illegal drugs.

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133 South Africa: How to Get Rid of a 'Delusional, Dangerous'Wed, 20 Apr 2016
Source:Star, The (South Africa) Author:Cullinan, Kerry Area:South Africa Lines:147 Added:04/20/2016

Many members of the UN General Assembly are tired of the problems borne of criminalising drug users, and will be making the case instead for harm-reduction programmes, writes Kerry Cullinan

For the first time in 20 years, the UN has convened a special session on "the world drug problem" amid fierce international debate about whether drug users should primarily be punished or rehabilitated.

The UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs, which started yesterday and runs until tomorrow, was called after Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala appealed to the body to revise the global approach to illegal drugs.

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134CN SN: Editorial: Injection Site Worth ExploringThu, 14 Apr 2016
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)          Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2016

In a province that has led Canada since 2010 in the rate of HIV infections and in a city where researchers describe intravenous drug use as an "epidemic," the call by Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) Chief Felix Thomas to investigate the value of establishing a safe injection site is a highly sensible idea.

It's time to put to rest the knee-jerk, anti-science attitude of the former federal Conservative government, which ignored credible data on the lives saved and harm reduced by Vancouver's Insite facility, and seriously explore whether Saskatoon might benefit from a similar service.

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135 Australia: OPED: A Drug-Free World Is Still an ImpossibleTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Author:Chipp, Greg Area:Australia Lines:95 Added:04/19/2016

In 1998, a special session of the United Nations General Assembly agreed to set a 10-year deadline to make the world "drug free". After an embarrassing failure to achieve this goal, the deadline was extended a further 10 years, setting the world up for another inevitable failure in 2019.

In the years since the use, availability and variety of illicit drugs have escalated exponentially. It is estimated by the UK charity Transform Foundation that 300 million people worldwide used illegal drugs in 2012, contributing to a global market worth $US330 billion a year.

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136 Canada: Un Summit Urges New Approach To Drug AbuseTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON)          Area:Canada Lines:108 Added:04/19/2016

50 Parents, Including Five Canadian Mothers, To Address Session On Global Problem

Donna May's daughter had been in a downward spiral for months. Once a happy young woman, with dimples and a quick sense of humour, Jac had become addicted to opioids.

She first took OxyContin to cope with the pain from a fall down the stairs in her home in Sault Ste. Marie. When the prescription ran out, she turned to fentanyl patches - a highly addictive opioid 20 times stronger than heroin, and readily available on the street.

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137 Australia: OPED: A Drug-Free World Is An Impossible DreamTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Age, The (Australia) Author:Chipp, Greg Area:Australia Lines:120 Added:04/19/2016

World leaders have an opportunity to act on the global drug problem that causes untold human suffering and costs billions a year.

The discussions will have an immediate flow-on effect to changes in drug policy being contemplated in Australia and around the world.

In 1998, a special session of the United Nations General Assembly agreed to set a 10-year deadline to make the world "drug free". After an embarrassing failure to achieve this goal, the deadline was extended a further 10 years, setting the world up for another inevitable failure in 2019.

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138 US NY: Has The War On Drugs Failed?Tue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Simmons, Ann M. Area:New York Lines:128 Added:04/19/2016

A U. N. Special Session Will Examine the Effects of the Hard- Line Approach and Will Study Alternatives.

At what is being billed as the most significant high-level gathering on global drug policy in two decades, the stage will be set for world leaders to discuss what would have once been unthinkable - reversing course in the war on drugs.

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, which begins Tuesday in New York, will bring together government, human rights and health leaders to discuss whether the hard-line tactics of combating drug trafficking and money laundering have failed.

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139Canada: Ex-justice Joins World Leaders, Celebs Urging New DrugSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Duffy, Andrew Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/19/2016

Former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour is among a host of international jurists, politicians, celebrities and sports stars to sign a letter that denounces the "disastrous" war on drugs and urges the United Nations to lead the world toward a more enlightened drug policy.

"Humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century's," reads the letter, delivered to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in advance of next week's UN special session on drugs.

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140 CN BC: Inside Insite: B.C.'s Supervised Injection ClinicSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:218 Added:04/17/2016

Supporters of Vancouver Facility Have Faced Many Obstacles but Are Seeing Successes

Before there was fentanyl, the highly addictive opioid at the centre of an ongoing national crisis, there was OxyContin, another drug that took the lives of vulnerable populations. And before Oxy, there was heroin.

In Vancouver's impoverished Downtown Eastside, heroin's ravages helped tip the province into a public-health crisis in the late 1990s. Born of necessity 13 years ago, Insite, a supervised injection clinic that remains the only one of its kind of North America, persevered under the former Conservative government's tough-on-crime anti-drug strategy, which ran counter to such treatment models. After successfully battling the government in a series of court cases, the facility has emerged as a model in harm reduction, representing a new approach to addiction treatment that the federal Liberal government has embraced - and one many communities, including Toronto, are trying replicate.

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