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1 CN ON: Carfentanil Changes The StakesThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON) Author:Sonnenberg, Monte Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:12/21/2017

Narcotics back in the day were more a nuisance than anything else.

Local police would regularly arrest people for possession of marijuana. Sometimes something more exotic like psychedelic mushrooms would materialize.

The situation became more of a concern when cocaine and its derivatives appeared on the scene. Then came methamphetamine and opioids such as Oxycontin and hydromorphone.

Heroin was never an issue locally like it has been in urban areas.

Instead, rural areas like Norfolk and Haldimand skipped straight to more problematic substances such as fentanyl and carfentanil. These powerful synthetic opioids have caused the number of drug overdose deaths in Canada to skyrocket in recent months.

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2 US: Soaring Overdose Deaths Cut Us Life Expectancy For 2nd YearThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Stobbe, Mike Area:United States Lines:114 Added:12/21/2017

A runaway teen to mother: 'I'll be fine mommy. I love you.' Hours later she and two others were dead

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. deaths from drug overdoses skyrocketed 21 percent last year, and for the second straight year dragged down how long Americans are expected to live.

The government figures released Thursday put drug deaths at 63,600, up from about 52,000 in 2015. For the first time, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins played a bigger role in the deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing prescription pain pills and heroin.

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3CN AB: Alberta Court Grants Unifor InjunctionFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Cotter, John Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:12/08/2017

A union that represents 3,000 oilsands workers at Suncor Energy sites i n northeastern Alberta has won a court injunction against random drug testing.

Unifor Local 707- A had argued that random testing would be a violation of workers' rights and privacy.

Calgary-based Suncor has said random tests are needed to bolster safety and wanted to start the program this month.

In his ruling, Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil said the privacy rights of employees are just as important as safety. "In my view the balance of convenience favours granting the injunction," Belzil said in a written judgment released Thursday.

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4 CN BC: PUB LTE: Questions Doctors Of B.C. Position On PotThu, 30 Nov 2017
Source:Valley Voice, The (CN BC) Author:Joyce, Art Area:British Columbia Lines:68 Added:11/30/2017

Reading the CBC News report, 'Associations call for ban on homegrown weed in BC once it becomes legal,' I have to question the judgment of the Doctors of BC, who default to pharmaceutical drugs quite unquestioningly, yet challenge more natural modes of treatment such as cannabis and homeopathy.

Cannabis cannot be tied to a single death or overdose. Meanwhile we are experiencing an opioid crisis. The CDC noted in one report that: "Among the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with over 20,000 overdose deaths." According to news website Vox, "More Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016 than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War - the result of the US's opioid epidemic."

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5 CN MB: Series: Part 1 Shattering The Stigma - Jesse KolbSat, 25 Nov 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Ball, Candice G. Area:Manitoba Lines:168 Added:11/29/2017

As a power-lifter who could bench 340 pounds, a talented guitar player, and a driven young man with a strong work ethic who bought his own house at the age of 18, Jessie Kolb defied the stereotype of a fentanyl addict.

If there's one thing his parents, Arlene Last-Kolb and John Kolb, have learned about opioid addiction is that it can happen to anyone and all the preconceived notions some people have about opioid addiction just perpetuate the stigma.

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6 CN MB: Shattering The Stigma - Adam WatsonTue, 28 Nov 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Ball, Candice G. Area:Manitoba Lines:88 Added:11/28/2017

Adam Watson didn't want to break his parents' hearts, and he did not want to die, but after battling opioid addiction for six years, he became the victim of a system woefully ill-equipped to help him.

Adam tried a methadone program, he attempted to detox at the Main Street Project, he saw family physicians, he ended up in emergency four times in the throes of withdrawal, and he met with a counsellor at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM). None of the treatment options or resources gave Adam the support he needed.

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7 CN MB: Column: Path Of DestructionSun, 29 Oct 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Hunter, Brad Area:Manitoba Lines:89 Added:10/29/2017

Fentanyl traffickers are murderers, plain and simple

On a warm Sunday, October afternoon, the kind of fall day when it seems anything is possible, I went to a funeral.

I knew the dead man by proxy. I never met him.

One of those things a dutiful partner does because it's the right thing to do. He was dead at 36. Fentanyl. Another casualty of the opioid epidemic ravaging cities and towns alike.

Last summer a hometown buddy told me his daughter's friend, 14 at the time and with her whole life in front of her, was having a limited-time engagement at a local funeral parlour.

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8 Canada: OPED: What We Can Learn From A Major Disruptor A FentanylMon, 23 Oct 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Douglas, Jeremy Area:Canada Lines:107 Added:10/28/2017

Drug's rise shows need for pivot on illegal substances, such as improving social supports and better understanding supply chains

In times of high demand for a product or service, existing businesses are often blindsided by new players offering something cheaper, better or faster. Traditional distribution networks are challenged, and new products flood the market. The term "disruption" is commonly used these days to describe what is happening to different parts of the economy, but it has not yet been applied to illegal drug markets - even though that's precisely what's happening.

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9CN 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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10 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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11 Canada: Separated By A HairFri, 20 Oct 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Mendleson, Rachel Area:Canada Lines:385 Added:10/20/2017

Once-respected Sick Kids lab performed tests for more than 100 child welfare providers in five provinces, an investigation reveals. For families who have been torn apart, the fallout is a 'tragedy'

In British Columbia, a mother is desperate to convince the children she lost years ago that she didn't choose drugs over them.

In Nova Scotia, a 7-year-old girl prays for her brother, who was adopted into another family.

And in Ontario, a mother whose daughters were taken shortly after they were born is waiting for a reunion that may never come.

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12 CN MB: OPED: Opioid Crisis A Health Issue, Not A Criminal OneFri, 20 Oct 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Novotna, Gabriela Area:Manitoba Lines:102 Added:10/20/2017

ACCORDING to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the rate of opioid poisoning hospitalizations has been steadily on the rise, with approximately 13 Canadians a day hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-15. What began with 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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13 CN ON: Opioid Strategy In Works To Curb ODs In Sarnia-LambtonFri, 20 Oct 2017
Source:Observer, The (CN ON) Author:Kula, Tyler Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:10/20/2017

Health unit getting up to $150,000 to reduce opioid-caused harm in Sarnia-Lambton

Police, health agencies, school boards and others, spurred by the opioid crisis, have joined up to craft a strategy aimed at preventing overdose deaths in Sarnia-Lambton.

A group of more than 20 agencies met this week to talk about ways to intervene, said Lynn Laidler, executive director of the Rapids Family Health Team, noting she was spurred to act after reading about a fatal overdose in August likely caused by fentanyl-laced cocaine.

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14 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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15 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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16 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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17 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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18 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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19 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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20 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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