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1CN BC: OPED: Rethink Our Approach To Opioid BattleThu, 19 Oct 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Novotna, Gabriela Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2017

Thirteen Canadians a day were hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-2015, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information, and the rate of opioid poisoning hospitalizations has been steadily rising.

What began with the over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a painkiller once thought to have a low potential for addiction, led to the diversion of legal drugs to the illegal market, and later to the dramatic expansion of the illegal production of fentanyl.

As the horror stories of addiction and death multiply, it is clear that what was once a medical issue is now a population-health crisis.

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2 CN ON: OPED: The Opioid Crisis Is A Health Issue, Not A CriminalTue, 17 Oct 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Novotna, Gabriela Area:Ontario Lines:116 Added:10/20/2017

According to the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), the rate of opioid poisoning hospitalizations has been steadily on the rise with about 13 Canadians a day hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-2015.

The over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a painkiller previously thought to have a low potential for addiction, led first to the diversion of legal drugs to the illegal market, and later, to the dramatic expansion of the illegal production of fentanyl.

As the horror stories of addiction and death have multiplied, it is now clear that what was once a medical issue is now a population health crisis.

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3 CN ON: Editorial: Grief Turns To Opioid AdvocacyThu, 05 Oct 2017
Source:Grimsby Lincoln News, The (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:70 Added:10/06/2017

They're still dealing with crushing grief barely contained, but a group of Niagara mothers who lost children in the prime of their lives to overdoses from opioids delivered a powerful message to regional politicians last week on the desperate need to deal with the opioid crisis sweeping like a freight train across the country.

The powerful drugs such as fentanyl have left a trail of destruction starting on the West Coast and moving east, with soaring numbers of emergency rooms visits due to overdoses in Ontario now.

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4 US MD: The Opioid Crisis Spills Into The WorkplaceMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Saraiva, Catarina Area:Maryland Lines:151 Added:09/27/2017

At Philip Tulkoff's food-processing plant in Baltimore, machines grind tough horseradish roots into puree. "If you put your arm in the wrong place," the owner says, "and you're not paying attention, it's going to pull you in." It's not a good place to be intoxicated.

Drug abuse in the workforce is a growing challenge for American business. While economists have paid more attention to the opioid epidemic's role in keeping people out of work, about two-thirds of those who report misusing pain-relievers are on the payroll. In the factory or office, such employees can be a drag on productivity, one of the U.S. economy's sore spots. In the worst case, they can endanger themselves and their colleagues.

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5 CN NS: PUB LTE: Signs Of OmissionThu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Coast, The (CN NS) Author:H., Lindsay Area:Nova Scotia Lines:37 Added:09/19/2017

I don't really know where to go with this other than The Coast, since you appreciate input from us random faces in the crowds, and it shows. I recently stumbled across this article on the Metro chain's Halifax website: "Woman high on weed in wreck that killed grandkids." That is terrifying news as our country is striving to make marijuana legal, so I clicked and read briefly into the article-only to realize it was a poor copy-paste job from an Associated Press story that omitted half the information.

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6 CN ON: Larkin Says New Pot Law Brings 'A Lot Of Worry'Thu, 14 Sep 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:75 Added:09/19/2017

Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin says police are gearing up for the July 1 deadline when pot will be legal in Canada but he says there is "trepidation and worry" about the upcoming law.

Larkin, who is president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, said any new legislation and public policy brings "a lot of trepidation" and "a lot of worry."

Police are preparing for the July 1 deadline. However, Larkin agrees with other police services and associations who say the date is arbitrary.

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7 CN ON: Editorial: Action At Last On Opioid CrisisTue, 05 Sep 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Roe, John Area:Ontario Lines:69 Added:09/08/2017

The sheer magnitude of Ontario's opioid crisis became tragically clear with last week's revelation that 865 people in this province had died after overdosing on one of these powerful drugs in 2016.

To put this heartbreaking figure in perspective, consider that in the same year Ontario recorded 206 homicides while motor vehicle collisions claimed 482 lives, which included 96 alcohol-related deaths.

People and politicians are rightly committed to protecting human lives by preventing homicides, making roads safer and cracking down on drunk driving.

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8 CN AB: Experts OverwhelmedSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:232 Added:09/08/2017

Chief medical examiner's office pores over deaths in opioid fight

EDMONTON - In the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner each morning, medical examiners, investigators, and morgue staff divide the stack of files containing unexplained deaths that have come in from the night before.

Five years ago, this department, headquartered in a low-slung grey building in Edmonton, investigated between 1,900 to 2,000 cases a year.

But in the last couple of years the caseload has jumped to between 2,500 to 2,600 annually - the bulk of that increase, officials say, is due to fentanyl and other opioid deaths.

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9 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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10CN QU: Column: Opium Has A Long And Colourful HistorySat, 02 Sep 2017
Source:Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Author:Schwarcz, Joe Area:Quebec Lines:Excerpt Added:09/02/2017

In 1805, German apothecary Friedrich Serturner revolutionized the practice of pharmacy by isolating morphine from opium.

Opium, the latex exuded by the bulb of the poppy plant on scoring with a sharp instrument, has a long history of use dating back to about 3400 BC.

The Sumerians, living in the region that is modern day Iraq, are known to have cultivated the poppy and were aware of the effects of consuming its juice, referring to it as the "joy plant."

Judging by artwork depicting Sumerian medicine men carrying poppies, they were also aware of opium's painkilling abilities.

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11 CN ON: Editorial: Opioids Ease One Pain But Lead To AnotherSat, 02 Sep 2017
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:73 Added:09/02/2017

Drugs that treat pain are both a blessing and a curse. Too often a prescription that brings relief leads to addiction and an overdose death.

Those drugs are classed as opioids. Oxycodone (best know under the brand name OxyContin) and fentanyl get the most attention at the moment but old standbys like Demerol, Percodan and Percocet are still in the mix.

A new study of prescription opioid use done by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network has found that Peterborough city and county have the fourth-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the province.

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12CN ON: Toxic Carfentanil Claims First City VictimFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Wilhelm, Trevor Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2017

A new super-powered drug fuelling a deadly opioid epidemic across Canada has claimed its first Windsor victim.

Windsor police confirmed Thursday that a person found dead on the front porch of a downtown house died from a carfentanil overdose.

"Carfentanil is designed to tranquilize extremely large animals," said Sgt. Steve Betteridge. "It is not designed for human consumption. This is an example of what human consumption will do to you. This is an extremely dangerous drug."

Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more powerful that fentanyl, 4,000 times more powerful than heroin and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. It's used to tranquilize elephants. A few milligrams can be lethal to humans.

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13 CN BC: OPED: My Son's Death Offers Lessons For Ending The OpioidFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:McBain, Leslie Area:British Columbia Lines:102 Added:09/01/2017

On Feb. 4, 2014, my only child died - alone - of an accidental overdose.

Jordan's death was a shock. It still is. Looking back, with the benefit of hindsight, I can connect the dots that led our happy, outgoing child to become addicted to opioids. Each of those dots represents an opportunity missed, a lesson to be learned. It's time those lessons be applied.

Today, Jordan's experience - and ours as parents - is, sadly and unnecessarily, a common one. At the time, however, we were lost in the uncertainty of how to help our son.

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14 CN ON: Opioids Causing Crisis In C-KThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Chatham Daily News, The (CN ON) Author:Shreve, Ellwood Area:Ontario Lines:97 Added:08/31/2017

Community marks International Overdose Awareness Day for first time

A total of 48 opioid-related deaths have been reported in Chatham-Kent between 2005 and 2016, according to Public Health Ontario, but it's likely that number is higher.

Jordynne Lindsay, a registered nurse with the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit, believes the number of local deaths could be under-reported due to a difference in the coding used by the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance emergency department, Chatham-Kent EMS and Chatham-Kent police.

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15 CN NS: 'I Keep Waiting For It To Get Easier'Thu, 24 Aug 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Sullivan, Nikki Area:Nova Scotia Lines:99 Added:08/29/2017

Overdose awareness event equal parts memorial and educational

The Ally Centre of Cape Breton is hosting an event for International Overdose Awareness Day to remember those lost to overdose and bring awareness to the opioid crisis on the island.

"Each year we try to make an impact, somehow, to draw attention to overdose and the effect it's having on our communities," explained Christine Porter, executive director of the Ally Centre.

From 2008-2016, there have been 169 overdose deaths in CapeBreton.

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16 Afghanistan: Most Of Heroin Consumed In Canada Is Of Afghan OriginTue, 22 Aug 2017
Source:Asian Pacific Post, The (CN BC)          Area:Afghanistan Lines:129 Added:08/25/2017

The Taliban in Afghanistan is now running significant heroin production lines in the war-torn country to provide jihadists and insurgents with billions of dollars, western law enforcement officials

And much of that heroin is flowing into Canada.

"More than 90 per cent of all heroin consumed in the US is of Mexican origin. But in Canada more than 90 per cent of the heroin consumed is of Afghan origin," said William Brownfield, US Assistant Secretary for Drugs and Law Enforcement when addressing reporters in the Afghan capital Kabul recently.

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17 CN ON: Spike In Overdoses Alarms Health UnitThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Barrie Examiner (CN ON) Author:Browne, Cheryl Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:08/19/2017

Psst. Pass the word along. Much like the warning at the '60s Woodstock concert to avoid the brown acid, authorities are warning today's recreational drug users to carry naloxone kits in case their drugs are laced with fentanyl.

"We're alerting recreational drug users that the MDMA (ecstasy) or cocaine they're taking could be tainted with fentanyl," said Janice Greco, manager of injury and substance misuse prevention at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

Greco is sounding the alarm after the health unit was warned of a spike in overdoses between Aug. 9 and Aug. 13 by its surveillance program at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH).

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18 CN ON: Street Drugs 101: A PrimerSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:204 Added:08/15/2017

As deadly fentanyl fuels a public health crisis, Free Press reporter Jennifer Bieman reveals what you should know about common London street drugs

Forget the old adage that what you don't know, can't hurt you. When it comes to street drugs, what you don't know can kill you.

That was the thrust of a rare public health warning - three health agencies and London police joined in its release - last week in London, when authorities stressed that the latest villain in Canada's opioid drug crisis, deadly fentanyl, is turning up in other illegal street drugs.

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19 CN ON: Fentanyl Blamed For Deadly ODFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Bowen, Neil Area:Ontario Lines:161 Added:08/15/2017

Sarnia cops warn of opioid-laced street drugs after three overdoses - one of them fatal - in five hours

Three overdoses in mere hours, one of them deadly - the sinister new face of Southwestern Ontario's opioid drug crisis has killed again, this time not a week after a rare public health warning about the often-hidden killer.

A few grains of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, mixed with cocaine, likely caused a fatal overdose Wednesday night in Sarnia, prompting a new warning from police in that city about drugs laced with fentanyl.

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20US WA: As Opioid Deaths Spike, New Push To Save Overdosing UsersFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Cohen, Stephen Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Public health officials are promoting the use of the drug naloxone to help save people from opioid overdoses.

Seattle's opioid crisis is a complicated medical, political and emotional issue, but state leaders are attempting to tackle one of the most immediate concerns facing those on the front line of the fight: Keeping users alive during an overdose.

The Seattle Police Department implemented a nasal naloxone (also known Narcan) program in March 2016, training 60 bike officers to administer the drug to anyone they believed to be suffering from an opioid overdose. The program has been a modest success, with officers reviving 20 people thus far according to Officer Steve Redmond, and there are hopes the program can be expanded department wide.

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