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1 US: Opioid Addiction Treatment With Medicine Works Best. Why Don'tTue, 10 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:United States Lines:250 Added:04/10/2018

"By the time I was 17, 18," Nelson Abbott said, "I graduated to heroin."

He tried to stop many times, both by going cold-turkey and tapering off the drugs, but he hated the withdrawal pains and he wasn't really ready to quit. Therapy didn't work out, either. But then his best friend overdosed and died. When Abbott's parents checked him into the Caron Treatment Center in Berks County, he didn't fight.

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2 US PA: A Vancouver Cop Tells Philadelphia Why He Changed His Mind OnTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:108 Added:04/06/2018

At the height of a heroin epidemic in Vancouver, British Columbia, Inspector Bill Spearn -- then a rookie cop -- was assigned to a beat in the heart of the crisis.

It was 1996, and though he had been responding to overdose after overdose in Downtown Eastside, one of Canada's poorest postal codes, Spearn wanted no part of the harm-reduction measures the city was considering to save the lives of people in addiction.

A safe injection site, where drugs could be used under medical supervision, was out of the question: "I thought it would be a big magnet," he told a crowd at Temple University Medical School on Monday night. "I thought it would empower people to use drugs." A few years later, with the debate still raging, he left the neighborhood for another position in the police department.

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3 CN BC: Researchers Look At Cannabis And Prescription Heroin To TackleWed, 04 Apr 2018
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Lakic, Sasa Area:British Columbia Lines:112 Added:04/06/2018

Studies show controlled drug use can reduce consumption of street drugs

As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users.

An analysis of opioid prescriptions in the U.S.published on Monday by the American Medical Association showed a significant decrease in opioid prescriptions in states that have adopted some sort of cannabis legislation. Using data from 2010 to 2015, the analysis counted 3.7 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed in states that allow weed dispensaries, while states that allow only home cultivation saw a decrease of 1.8 million daily prescribed doses.

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4Caanda: Oped: Drug Prohibition Is The Radical Policy, Not LegalMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Shane, Caitlin        Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

This April, the federal Liberals will consider a policy resolution that could result in the decriminalization of low-level drug possession across Canada - something that people who use drugs, medical professionals, and increasingly, members of government have been pushing for.

For Conservatives and other prohibitionists, decriminalization has been fiercely contested on the presumption that it makes a radical 'Wild West' of the drug market. They argue that a tough-on-crime agenda is the only answer to an opioid crisis that has killed thousands - but fail to acknowledge that under absolute prohibition we relinquish control over every echelon of the drug chain to a black market that no amount of law enforcement will get under control.

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5 US PA: Safe Injection Site To Get Airing In Philly Neighborhood MostWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:107 Added:03/28/2018

In Kensington, this much is clear: No other neighborhood in Philadelphia has seen more overdose deaths, or more visible suffering amid a city opioid epidemic that claimed an estimated 1,200 lives in 2017. Along with neighboring Fairhill, it occupies less than 2 percent of Philadelphia's land area, but 18 percent of all city overdoses occurred in that small space, according to an Inquirer analysis of city data.

On Tuesday night, when city health officials arrive in the neighborhood for a community meeting on the epidemic, they'll come armed with dire statistics and information on the city's 18-point plan to fight the crisis. But they won't have an answer to the question that's roiled the neighborhood since the plan was announced in January: Will Kensington host the first safe-injection site in the city, and possibly the nation?

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6 US PA: Safe Injection Site Stirs Tensions At Northeast Philly MeetingMon, 19 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:102 Added:03/22/2018

Midway through a community meeting in Northeast Philadelphia on the opioid crisis Monday, a man stood up at the back of the room and yelled out a question to city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley: "Doctor, where do you live? Can we put a safe injection site next door to you?"

The crowd of 150 in the Fox Chase community center applauded and burst into shouts in a display that vividly showed the tough sales job the city is facing as it tries to fulfill a promise to allow a place where people in addiction can use drugs under medical supervision. As heroin has been adulterated with the deadlier opioid fentanyl, often without the user's knowledge, the overdose death rate has soared. Quick administration of a reversal medicine can save lives.

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7CN BC: NPA Councillors Question City's Drug PoliciesWed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2018

News release that called for study to make personal use legal called 'a surprise'

Things started off on a pretty collegial tone Tuesday morning in Vancouver city council.

Much of the morning session was concerned with development plans for an 8.4-hectare site in south Vancouver. Councillors echoed their support for the project, and one commented on proceedings going "so smoothly." The mayor agreed, saying it was nice to conduct the meeting "without the kind of friction that can sometimes occur."

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8 CN ON: Column: Opioid crisis in Peterborough: Overdose PreventionTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Salvaterra, Rosana Area:Ontario Lines:95 Added:03/16/2018

In 2018 we find ourselves battling an opioid crisis that has been years in the making. Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain and were originally derived from opium but now also include synthetic preparations.

In the mid-1990s, their use by physicians was heavily promoted by the pharmaceutical industry, leading to greater prescribing for both acute and chronic pain. Patients using opioids can develop a dependency or addiction.

There are two sources of opioids: those that are produced by the pharmaceutical industry and those that are illicitly produced. Recently, the illicit supply has become so contaminated with fentanyl (a very powerful opioid) or fentanyl-like substances that many people are at risk of an unintended acute and potentially fatal poisoning.

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9 CN AB: Column: Getting Drugs Off Streets Requires A Team EffortMon, 12 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Davis, Rob Area:Alberta Lines:93 Added:03/16/2018

Last week there were two rallies organized to address the opioid crisis - one in the city and the other on the Blood Reserve. On Monday night, I attended the Community in Crisis March that started at City Hall and ended with a candlelight vigil at Galt Gardens. Several very touching speeches were given by citizens who have been impacted by the opioid crisis and are determined to fight back.

Our Mayor and local MLA Maria Fitzpatrick also provided remarks echoing the sentiment that this crisis sees no boundaries - it does not discriminate. They also reaffirmed we must continue with harm reduction efforts and band together as communities.

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10 CN AB: Police Witness Suffering On Front Lines Of Battle AgainstThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kalinowski, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:95 Added:03/13/2018

The sheer volume of human suffering has been increasing exponentially in recent months as a new and deadly wave of opioids scythes through local drug users and addicts, says Const. Ryan Darroch, a 15-year veteran of the Lethbridge Police Service, and a beat cop with the downtown policing unit.

"We have not yet confirmed carfentanil (behind the recent overdoses) through our lab analysis," he emphasizes, "but we have seized carfentanil in the city. A lot of the street people we talk to in the downtown, and all over this city, refer to it as 'Car.' It almost looks like that candy Nerds. They tell us they take that carfentanil and mix it with a water solution in those little blue vials people may see on the streets on the ground. They mix that solution in little green mixing bowls, and it breaks down the opioid inside that and they may then draw that solution into a needle and inject it into themselves. Fentanyl or

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11 CN ON: No Downside To A Supervised Injection Site, Says Ex-AddictThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Monteiro, Liz Area:Ontario Lines:91 Added:03/10/2018

John Lavergne believes a safe injection site will help save lives

KITCHENER - John Lavergne lost eight friends last year. All of them died of an opioid overdose.

Six of them were in Waterloo Region. Three of them hadn't used in months and had a relapse. They couldn't tell their partners, friends or families they were using again.

They used alone and now they are dead, Lavergne said.

The Kitchener man says a supervised injection site would have helped them live.

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12 CN ON: London's Anti-OD Site Saves Two LivesMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Daniszewski, Hank Area:Ontario Lines:87 Added:03/10/2018

Two people using fentanyl at London's temporary overdose prevention site on the weekend were resuscitated by a nurse after they overdosed, Middlesex-London's medical officer of health says.

"These people were inexperienced, and fentanyl is a drug where it's easy to miscalculate how much you are taking. If this had happened in a back alley or stairwell somewhere, it could have easily resulted in death," Dr. Chris Mackie said Sunday.

The drug users were resuscitated Saturday using oxygen, he said.

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13CN AB: Offer Drug Testing At Safe Consumption Sites, Opiod CommissionSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Gerein, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:03/10/2018

Alberta's supervised consumption sites should be permitted to offer drug testing to help users learn what dangers might be lurking in their illicit narcotics, the province's opioid commission recommended Friday.

While questions persist about the effectiveness of fentanyl-sensing strips and other testing devices, providing insight to users on what they plan to inject or ingest will undoubtedly save lives, commission leaders said.

"Anytime you can give people a bit more understanding than absolutely none about what's in their drugs, I think that's a positive," Elaine Hyshka, co-chair of the Minister's Opioid Emergency Response Commission, told a news conference downtown.

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14 Canada: Column: Does Naloxone Really Save Lives?Sat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Wente, Margaret Area:Canada Lines:100 Added:03/10/2018

The life-saving drug may actually increase opioid abuse. Here's why

My friendly local pharmacy has started selling naloxone kits to the general public. They think everyone should have one. The idea is that you never know when you're going to have someone overdose in your home.

As the opioid crisis spreads like a curse across North America, naloxone - a lifesaving drug that neutralizes the effects of an opioid overdose - is not confined to first responders anymore. Schools in Toronto are stocking up in it. Librarians across the United States have been trained to administer it to overdosing visitors. Everywhere, the message is: make sure you have some on hand, just in case.

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15 CN ON: Moss Park Harm-Reduction Volunteers Staying PutSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Gray, Jeff Area:Ontario Lines:132 Added:03/10/2018

More supervised injection sites planned as opioid-overdose numbers skyrocket

The construction trailer that houses the illegal, volunteer-run overdose prevention site in Toronto's Moss Park is about to open for another evening, as a dozen drug users, some clearly anxious for their fix, cluster around its muddy entrance in the cold.

Activist and harm-reduction worker Zoe Dodd, named one of Toronto Life magazine's most influential people last year, alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and R&B star the Weeknd, unloads an extra box of anti-overdose naloxone kits from her beat-up sedan.

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16 CN ON: Opioid-Related Deaths In Hamilton Surge In One YearSat, 10 Mar 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Frketich, Joanna Area:Ontario Lines:81 Added:03/10/2018

City's fatality rate is now nearly double Ontario average, fuelling more concern

Opioid-related deaths in Hamilton have soared more than 80 per cent in one year.

From January to October, 75 Hamilton residents died from an opioid overdose in 2017 compared to 41 during the same period the year before.

"Opioids are continuing to have a devastating impact on individuals, families, and the community," Hamilton's medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said in a statement Friday. "The sustained trend of rising opioid related deaths, which are preventable, in Hamilton is very concerning."

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17 CN ON: Region Looking Into 3 Safe Injection Sites Locations NotThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Weidner, Johanna Area:Ontario Lines:131 Added:03/05/2018

WATERLOO REGION - Waterloo Region plans to look further into pursuing three supervised injection sites, following a study that found a need and support in the community for the service to combat fatal opioid overdoses.

Sites are proposed for the central cores of Kitchener and Galt, and a third spot to be determined that could be a mobile unit.

"In Waterloo Region, we know that overdose is on the rise," said Grace Bermingham, regional manager of information, planning and harm reduction.

Bermingham presented findings from the first phase of a feasibility study on supervised injection sites to a regional committee on Tuesday. The second phase involves identifying potential locations and further consultations with people who live, work or go to school near a proposed site.

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18 CN AB: Kenney Opposes Consumption SitesThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Kalinowski, Tim Area:Alberta Lines:42 Added:03/05/2018

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney said he would be opposed to expanding Safe Consumption Sites across the province if elected premier.

"Helping addicts inject poison into their bodies is not a solution to the problem of addiction," he said bluntly while visiting Lethbridge on Wednesday.

Disagreeing with local Lethbridge government, aid organizations and law enforcement officers who have championed the site, Kenney went on to state he did not feel safe consumption or injection sites work, as evidenced by the spike in opioid overdose deaths in Vancouver despite having a safe injection site in that city for over a decade.

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19CN BC: Column: B.C. Opioid Treatment Costs Soar Beyond $90m A YearThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2018

How do we get out of this box? It may be time to follow Portugal in legalizing drugs

British Columbia has a $250,000-a-day drug habit that is spiralling out of control - and it's not supported by the Downtown Eastside street bazaar.

Rather, it's the opioid substitution program.

The province now spends more than $90 million a year on "treatment" and health services for participants of the drug-maintenance program - that's more than it provides for legal aid.

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20 CN AB: Lethbridge OD Spike Watched Closely In The HatThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Slade, Gillian Area:Alberta Lines:72 Added:03/05/2018

The significant spike in illicit drug overdoses in Lethbridge has not reached Medicine Hat - yet.

There is no way to predict that it will or when, said Insp. Tim McGough, Medicine Hat Police Service.

Lethbridge recently experienced its largest spike in overdoses - 16 cases - ever recorded in a 24-hour period. There were 42 overdose calls to first responders in the week after Feb. 19.

"We've had no specific overdose spike (in Medicine Hat) but we are always concerned with illicit usage." said McGough.

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