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1 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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2 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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3 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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4US 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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5US CA: Column: Realities Behind The Epidemic Of Alcohol And DrugSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Rosen, Mitchell Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

Shortly after becoming licensed as a family therapist, I was hired to facilitate group therapy on a chemical dependency unit. I did this every day for about 10 years. I also coordinated family group for the spouses and relatives of those who were recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. There were a lot of "take aways" from this experience.

Despite my education, I held many prejudices and myths toward those who abused alcohol and drugs. These men and women taught me a great deal.

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6 US: Trump's Effort To Blame Obama For The Opioid EpidemicFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Kessler, Glenn Area:United States Lines:98 Added:08/11/2017

"Federal drug prosecutions have gone down in recent years. We're going to be bringing them up and bringing them up rapidly. At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer than in 2011. So they looked at this scourge and they let it go by, and we're not letting it go by."

President Trump -- who two days after this briefing said he would declare the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency -- not so subtly tried to pin the blame on the Obama administration. "They looked at this scourge and they let it go by," the president said, citing statistics that federal drug prosecutions have declined 23 percent since 2011.

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7 CN ON: Column: Rethink Before Decriminalizing DrugsMon, 07 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:DiManno, Rosie Area:Ontario Lines:128 Added:08/07/2017

If half a dozen deaths in Toronto last week were likely attributable to fatal opioid-related overdoses, how many do you think would have died if those drugs were legal? Fewer? I don't see the logic in that. Easier access to drugs and no criminal liability wouldn't discourage use, surely. And we're not talking here about a mild mind-bending substance such as pot, which is to become decriminalized in Canada next year. Still stupid - dumb-downing of the populace . . . but it is the consensus will of the nation - because we seem to be just fine with the stupefying effect of "recreational" marijuana and hash despite all the evidence of young lives going off the rails when teenagers toked to the gills lose interest in school and sports and healthy activities.

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8 CN ON: Run Of Overdoses AlarmingFri, 04 Aug 2017
Source:Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON) Author:Ferguson, Elliot Area:Ontario Lines:124 Added:08/04/2017

Five people in two days sent to hospital after taking drugs believed to be laced with fentanyl

Local health officials are raising the alarm after a string of fentanyl overdoses this week.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, five people, including three in Kingston, were sent to hospital after taking drugs believed to be laced with bootleg fentanyl.

"What we know is all five did require paramedic services and support in hospital, and we believe that they are related to fentanyl-contaminated drugs, just from the clinical signs and symptoms we saw," said Fareen Karachiwalla, associate medical officer of health with Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health.

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9 CN ON: Overdoses Bring Fear To OxfordThu, 03 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Rivers, Heather Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:08/03/2017

Bootleg fentanyl blamed for five overdoses, two of which didn't respond to double doses of antidote

WOODSTOCK - Five Oxford County overdoses in the last half of June likely were caused by a bad batch of heroin, possibly laced with particularly potent bootleg fentanyl, a health official says.

"Our clients are scared," said Oxford County public health nurse Lisa Gillespie. "From everything I have heard, bootleg fentanyl has arrived in Oxford or there is a very bad batch of heroin going around."

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10 CN ON: 'We Can' Wait On Politicians': Cambridge Coroner On FentanylThu, 27 Jul 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Martin, Ray Area:Ontario Lines:142 Added:07/27/2017

CAMBRIDGE - Cambridge coroner Dr. Hank Nykamp is tired of political rhetoric and inaction as the local fentanyl crisis deepens.

The longtime city doctor has been a Cambridge coroner since 1985. He has seen the best and worst of the city during his career. He loves this city, but believes more must be done to stem the growing number of opioid overdose cases crossing his examination table.

"Five years ago it was oxycodone. Now it's fentanyl and carfentanil, which is even more powerful and used to knock out elephants," he said. "Something needs to be done and we can't wait on the politicians."

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11CN ON: Closed-Door Meeting Causes Drug-Case MistrialSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Yogaretnam, Shaamini Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Defence should have been present, judge conceded in granting request

I ... mistakenly permitted him to bring the drug exhibits into my office where he remained with those exhibits for approximately 20 minutes.

An Ottawa judge has declared a mistrial in a drug case after privately questioning an investigating officer in chambers violated an accused's right to be at his own trial.

Paul Masilamany filed the mistrial application on May 12, 2017, the day the court was to decide on drug trafficking charges against him.

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12 CN ON: Judge Declares Mistrial In Drug CaseSat, 22 Jul 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Yogaretnam, Shaamini Area:Ontario Lines:146 Added:07/25/2017

Rules he violated accused's rights to a fair trial by asking to meet with police officer

An Ottawa judge has declared a mistrial in a drug case after privately questioning an investigating officer in chambers violated an accused's right to be at his own trial.

Paul Masilamany filed the mistrial application on May 12, 2017, the day the court was to decide on drug trafficking charges against him.

But just two days before, the lead drug officer, acting on a request from the judge himself, attended Superior Court Justice Paul Kane's office and brought drug exhibits for the judge's use in rendering his decision.

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13 Canada: Prison Agency To Review Opioid PoliciesTue, 18 Jul 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:White, Patrick Area:Canada Lines:95 Added:07/21/2017

Correctional Service Canada vows to look into resources for inmates with addictions following Vancouver-based group's call to action

Canada's prison agency said it will review the way it treats inmates with opioid addictions in light of a series of accusations from B.C.-based prisoners.

A letter sent to the Correctional Service Canada (CSC) on Monday - and shared with The Globe and Mail - summarized the experiences of 33 prisoners held in the federal jailer's Pacific region who said they couldn't access basic treatment for the highly addictive class of drugs that includes fentanyl and oxycodone.

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14CN SN: Take-Home Overdose Kits Now Available To InmatesSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:StarPhoenix, The (CN SN) Author:Charlton, Jonathan Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:07/19/2017

Providing take-home naloxone kits to Saskatchewan federal inmates is a "step in the right direction," addictions expert Dr. Peter Butt said.

"Not only is it evidence-based, but it's directed towards the safety of individuals and communities so that we have hopefully fewer opioid overdoses occurring within a population that's already been identified as vulnerable," he said.

Naloxone is a drug that can stop an overdose from opioids such as fentanyl, morphine, heroin, methadone and oxycodone. The kits are available in certain pharmacies in Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Yorkton and Kamsack, according to the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan.

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15 Canada: Teen Talks Fentanyl On National TourTue, 18 Jul 2017
Source:Metro (Edmonton, CN AB) Author:Mosleh, Omar Area:Canada Lines:137 Added:07/19/2017

Leila Attar to discuss dangers of the drug with youth, parents

Leila Attar was unconscious on the floor of her Ottawa home when a loud knock at her door shook her from a drug-induced blackout at 2 a.m.

"It was non-stop … I thought it was the cops because of how loud it was," she recalled.

It turned out to be a close friend coming to check on her because Attar, now 19, had stopped responding to texts. Later, she would be told by doctors that she was overdosing on fentanyl after taking pills she thought were Percocet.

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16 CN AB: Officer Saves Overdose Victim With Naloxone KitFri, 14 Jul 2017
Source:Fort McMurray Today (CN AB) Author:McDermott, Vincent Area:Alberta Lines:88 Added:07/17/2017

Police are crediting a quick-thinking officer with a Naloxone kit for saving a man's life in Janvier earlier this week.

According to Wood Buffalo RCMP, an officer was making a routine patrol through the hamlet, located approximately 120 kilometres south of Fort McMurray, on July 12 when the officer was flagged down.

An individual asked the officer to help a 25-year-old resident who was unconscious. The officer found the unconscious person was barely breathing, turning blue and had a faint pulse, forcing the officer to administer two doses of an anti-opiate drug called Naloxone.

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17 CN ON: Opioid Overdoses Increase LocallyTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Daily Observer, The (Pembroke, CN ON) Author:Chase, Sean Area:Ontario Lines:60 Added:07/14/2017

The County of Renfrew has seen a sharp rise in the number of opioid overdoses so far this year, according to first responders.

The County of Renfrew Paramedic Service has answered 95 overdoses calls, which matches the number of overdose cases that paramedics responded to in 2016. Paramedics are seeing on average about a 13 per cent year-over-year increase in opioid overdoses.

"Without a doubt the number of cases is going up," said Mike Nolan, director of emergency services and chief of the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service. "There is a significant increase in the number of serious overdoses that can be reversed using Narcan."

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18CN BC: Editorial: Change Strategy On Pain DrugsSun, 09 Jul 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2017

A new window has opened on the epidemic of overdose deaths engulfing our province. It is being alleged in the U.S. that some manufacturers of opioid drugs misled physicians about the addictive power of these medications. Several states, including Ohio, are suing pharmaceutical firms on that basis. They claim physicians were told that later generations of opioids such as oxycontin - a powerful painkiller - were much less addictive than earlier versions. In 2012 alone, pharmacies in Ohio dispensed 790 million opioid pills.

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19 US: U.S. Opioid Prescriptions Fall, But Numbers Still High: CDCThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Thompson, Dennis Area:United States Lines:98 Added:07/06/2017

Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have dropped since 2010 in the United States, but the number of Americans getting the highly addictive medications is still too high, a new report shows.

Prescriptions declined from a peak of 782 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per person in 2010 to 640 MME per person in 2015, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Half of U.S. counties saw a decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed per person from 2010 to 2015," said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. "Overall, opioid prescribing in the United States is down 18 percent since 2010."

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20 US NY: Schools, On Guard Against Deadly Opioids, Stock NaloxoneTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:Newsday (NY) Author:Tyrrell, Joie Area:New York Lines:162 Added:07/05/2017

School districts on Long Island and statewide are stocking naloxone onsite in school buildings to have the opioid antidote at the ready because of the growing issue of abuse of the deadly drugs, educators and health officials said.

At least 340 schools across the state, including dozens on Long Island, have provided training for school nurses or other personnel about how to administer naloxone, according to the state Education Department.

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, based in Westbury, also has seen interest grow in instructing school personnel about the antidote, said Reisa Berg, director of education and prevention.

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