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1 US: OPED: The Promise Of Ecstasy For PTSDSat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Khaliya, Area:United States Lines:120 Added:11/11/2017

In July, the Food and Drug Administration took the important step of approving two final-phase clinical trials to determine whether a party drug that has long been on the Drug Enforcement Administration's Schedule I list of banned substances could be used to treat a psychiatric condition that afflicts millions. The drug is MDMA, a psychedelic commonly known as Ecstasy, previously deemed to have "no currently accepted medical use." The trials aim to determine whether the drug is, as earlier trials have suggested, a safe and effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, when combined with psychotherapy.

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2 CN ON: Unique OD Case Challenges JudgeThu, 02 Nov 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Carmichael, Harold Area:Ontario Lines:154 Added:11/06/2017

A 22-year-old Sudbury man will learn Dec. 6 how long he is going to jail, if at all, for selling a drug that contributed to another man's death.

"Given the uniqueness of the case, it isn't possible for me to do this (give a sentencing decision) today," Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande said about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday after a multi-hour sentencing hearing for David Mealey.

Mealey pleaded guilty back on July 11 to a charge of trafficking MDA, a derivative of the Ecstasy drug. A pre-sentence report was ordered.

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3CN BC: UBC Will Offer Fentanyl Antidote Training ProgramTue, 17 Oct 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2017

Students to learn to detect overdoses and reverse them using naloxone kits

The University of B.C.'s Alma Mater Society is organizing mass training events to teach students to recognize and reverse drug overdoses amid a devastating provincial health emergency that shows no sign of slowing down.

Organizers say 120 students are registered for a two-hour training session Thursday in the student union building at UBC's Vancouver campus, where they'll learn the signs of an overdose, how to use a naloxone kit and the role stigma-free language plays in improving the lives of people who use drugs.

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4 CN SN: Injection Site Plan Draws SupportFri, 20 Oct 2017
Source:Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN) Author:White-Crummey, Arthur Area:Saskatchewan Lines:243 Added:10/20/2017

Clinical coordinator at Vancouver's largest supervised injection site says P.A. should open similar facility

Prince Albert should open a safe injection site before a bad situation gets worse, says a senior staff member from Canada's first legal facility for injecting drugs.

Tim Gauthier, clinical coordinator at Vancouver's Insite, was the keynote speaker at the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region's HIV Education for Change event on Wednesday. He said he was shocked when he heard how many drug users in the Prince Albert area are contracting HIV through needles. The numbers convinced him that the city needs to expand its harm reduction programs.

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5 CN QU: Edu: Editorial: McGill Cannot Ignore The Fentanyl CrisisMon, 11 Sep 2017
Source:McGill Daily, The (CN QU Edu)          Area:Quebec Lines:71 Added:09/13/2017

Content Warning: drug use and overdose

Last week, public health officials in Montreal warned of an imminent fentanyl crisis that poses a serious risk to the city's drug users. Fentanyl is an opioid prescribed to relieve chronic pain, but its intensity is 40 times that of heroin, and its toxicity 100 times that of morphine. Fentanyl can be found in opiates, as well as party drugs such as cocaine, PCP, and MDMA. Because it's often present without the consumer's knowledge, it can easily cause a fatal overdose. In British Columbia, 706 overdose deaths from January to July 2017 involved fentanyl. In Montreal, there have been 24 confirmed drug overdose cases since the beginning of August 2017. Faced with this growing public health crisis, the McGill community must waste no time in supplying the tools and information necessary to keep students safe.

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6 UK: Teen Died After Five Bags Of Ecstasy 'Exploded' In HerTue, 05 Sep 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:United Kingdom Lines:117 Added:09/09/2017

A teenage law student from Britain died while on holiday in Ibiza after five bags of ecstasy exploded in her stomach, an inquest heard.

Rebecca Brock, 18, was discovered with a pool of blood next to her head in a hotel room after traveling to the party island for a friend's birthday.

Nottingham Coroners' Court heard staff found the "academically gifted" student unresponsive in her room at the Hotel Marco Polo on Sept. 28, 2015.

Spanish police began an investigation after the amount of the class-A drug in her system was "double the level" of a normal fatal dose.

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7 US: FDA Calls Ecstasy A 'Breakthrough' Drug In Treating PTSDThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:United States Lines:32 Added:08/31/2017

The Food and Drug Administration has determined that illicit drug ecstasy is a "breakthrough therapy" for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment.

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly referred to as ecstasy, could now have a faster pathway to pharmaceutical approval in the US, reports Science Alert.

The goal of these trials is to determine how effectively the drug treatment can be for those suffering from PTSD.

The PSTD research trials will include 200 to 300 participants, and the first trial will begin to accept subjects in 2018.

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8CN AB: Justice Minister Praises Police Drug WorkWed, 23 Aug 2017
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Potkins, Meghan Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:08/23/2017

Alberta's justice minister says the province's law enforcement communities are having to "constantly" adapt in their efforts to combat the evolving methods of illicit drug manufacturers.

Following news that health workers have found possible fentanyl-laced stickers in Calgary and Edmonton, Kathleen Ganley told reporters that police are doing a "very good job" of staying on top of emerging drug trends.

That vigilance on the part of authorities is key, Ganley says.

"It's like this with most types of drugs, they're sort of constantly adapting to continue to try to keep those hidden and we're having to constantly adapt to continue to try to find those. We'll continue to use intelligence to move forward."

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9 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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10 CN ON: A Tale of Two ShootingsFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:McArthur, Greg Area:Ontario Lines:369 Added:08/19/2017

One of the Trudeau government's stated policy goals for ending marijuana prohibition is to divert the profits reaped by gangsters toward legitimate shareholders. But an investigation by Greg McArthur and Molly Hayes offers a glimpse into the insidious nature of organized crime, finding that criminal groups easily exploited loopholes in the federal government's old medical-marijuana licensing regimes

In the late afternoon of March 14 in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, a masked gunman jumped out of the passenger side of a black Jeep Cherokee, darted across a snow-dusted parking lot and unleashed a flurry of bullets into a black BMW. Thirty seconds later, he was back in the car, leaving Saverio Serrano - the son of a notorious Canadian Mafia figure and cocaine importer - wounded, and Mr. Serrano's 28-year-old girlfriend dead.

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11CN ON: Column: Decriminalizing Drugs No Fix For Opioid CrisisFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/19/2017

Decriminalize or legalize crack and that will reduce the opioid crisis and save lives?

The hare-brained idea from Toronto that the country should consider decriminalizing or legalizing illicit drugs because current policy has failed is not just "crazy," it is insane.

It would be laughable if the issue weren't so deadly serious.

The worst of it is that Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Isra Levy, supports this, saying Ottawa Public Health backs "new evidence-based approaches" on fighting drug addiction, including decriminalization. Also on side is the councillor for Ottawa-Vanier, Mathieu Fleury. "It's a crazy thought, but it is a crazy thought that might actually have some merit," he said.

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12 CN ON: Column: Legalizing Illicit Drugs Won't Solve Opioid CrisisFri, 18 Aug 2017
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Adam, Mohammed Area:Ontario Lines:85 Added:08/19/2017

The hare-brained idea from Toronto that the country should consider decriminalizing or legalizing illicit drugs because current policy has failed is not just "crazy," it is insane.

It would be laughable if the issue weren't so deadly serious.

It is a crazy thought without any merit - and it has no place in the discussion of the serious problem of opioid addiction that is destroying many young lives in the city and around the country.

First proposed by a Toronto overdose panel in the wake of the deadly fentanyl crisis, it was taken up by that city's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen De Villa, who said decriminalization of all illegal drugs could be the answer to the failure of the current approach to drugs. The key argument of the Toronto overdose action plan is that current policy has reduced neither the drugs, nor the supply.

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13CN BC: OPED: How To Stem Overdose CasesSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Tupper, Kenneth Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2017

Quality checks of illicit drugs is one way, writes Kenneth Tupper.

In recent years across B.C., a public-health tragedy has resulted in thousands of preventable deaths from street drugs containing powerful opioids such as fentanyl or its analogs.

Toxicity from adulteration has occurred not just in the heroin supply, but also in stimulants, club drugs and counterfeit pills. Border agents and police have tried to reduce or disrupt the supply, but they have had little success in stemming the tide of illicit drug importation and consequent deaths.

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14 CN ON: Editorial: Dealer's Sentence The Right ApproachFri, 21 Jul 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:68 Added:07/25/2017

An eight-year prison sentence doled out at the Ottawa courthouse earlier this week was a refreshing indication that the judiciary can get it right - at least on drug crimes.

Routinely, judges seem to give out-of-touch, soft-on-crime rulings that shock common-sense Canadians. But in a recent case, Ontario Court Justice Ann Alder was uncompromising, throwing the book at a local fentanyl dealer.

Simply put, those who deal in fentanyl are dealing in death.

It's lethal, even in small doses, and can be mistaken for heroin or other drugs.

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15 Uruguay: Getting High In Uruguay Now Means Just A Stop At TheWed, 19 Jul 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Londono, Ernesto Area:Uruguay Lines:181 Added:07/22/2017

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay - The rules are a bit of a buzzkill. Drug users must officially register with the government. Machines will scan buyers' fingerprints at every purchase, and there are strict quotas to prevent overindulgence.

But when Uruguay's marijuana legalization law takes full effect on Wednesday, getting high will take a simple visit to the pharmacy.

As American states legalize marijuana and governments in the hemisphere rethink the fight against drugs, Uruguay is taking a significant step further: It is the first nation in the world to fully legalize the production and sale of marijuana for recreational use.

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16 CN AB: Majority Of Drugs Seized By Alert Is MarijuanaMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Theobald, Claire Area:Alberta Lines:56 Added:07/19/2017

Of the $8.65 million in illegal drugs the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) pulled off of Alberta's streets, well over half of it was marijuana.

"Marijuana remains highly profitable for organized crime," said Insp. Dave Dubnyk with ALERT. "It's traded for other drugs, used for financing illegal enterprises."

According to information in the 2016-17 ALERT annual report, investigators seized $5.4-million worth of marijuana last year.

Dubnyk said while ALERT officers may not be specifically targeting marijuana, it is often discovered during other investigations involving illegal drugs and organized crime.

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17 CN SN: Column: Drug Talk Now A Family EssentialSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN) Author:Thatcher, Richard Area:Saskatchewan Lines:91 Added:07/17/2017

The lethal danger of fentanyl is becoming well-known. No one knows precisely how many people die per year in Canada from opioid overdoses. Last year, there were 922 opioid overdose deaths in B.C. alone, and more than 340 overdose deaths in Alberta were specifically from fentanyl. While Saskatchewan numbers are much smaller and their official count is unclear at this point, the drug's lethal toll may well be on the rise in this province as well; it is clearing coming east from the coast and from Alberta.

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18 US FL: Real-Time Drug Tests At Music Festivals Show 'Molly' OftenWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Cha, Ariana Eunjung Area:Florida Lines:94 Added:07/14/2017

'MOLLY'

Scientists, public health experts and volunteers working with them have started to show up at music festivals, concerts, raves and other public gatherings where illicit drugs are frequently used. Equipped with special chemical testing kits, they help attendees test pills and powder for purity in real time so people can make better informed decisions about whether to take them.

The practice - more common in Europe than in the United States - is controversial, and the debate has been similar to the early days of needle-exchange programs in the 1980s. Proponents argue harm reduction. They say people are more likely to reject taking drugs to get high if the substances do not contain what they think they do, which reduces the risk of overdose and other harmful effects. Critics say such programs implicitly encourage the use of illegal drugs.

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19CN SN: Column: Talking To Your Kids About Fentanyl Is EssentialThu, 13 Jul 2017
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Thatcher, Richard Area:Saskatchewan Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

This lethal drug makes a discussion urgent, writes Dr. Richard Thatcher.

The dangers of fentanyl as a frequently used mood-modifying, recreational drug, on its own or laced into other opiates are gradually becoming well known.

The substance has recently gained a reputation as the Grim Reaper of illicit drugs. The number of deaths and near deaths originating with fentanyl use is simply shocking. Surely parents must initiate a serious discussion with their children and teens about this and other drug use. In this case, talk is, arguably, the primary preventive measure.

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20 CN BC: Column: Why Addicts Still Play Russian Roulette With FentanylTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Vancouver 24hours (CN BC) Author:Tieleman, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:07/14/2017

"People doing drugs now are dope-sick and it's so painful, you'd rather die." - Constance Barnes, Overdose Prevention Society

The day you read this column, four people in British Columbia will die of a drug overdose, two-thirds due to the powerful opioid fentanyl.

That means 1,500 people will die in just one year. It's the equivalent of four jumbo jets loaded with passengers crashing at Vancouver International Airport in 12 months - unthinkable.

Yet many people ask: Why would anyone in their right mind play Russian roulette with their life by taking cocaine, ecstasy or heroin that could be laced with deadly fentanyl?

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