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1CN ON: Toronto Gets First Safe Injection SiteMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Warnica, Richard Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

It's unofficial - but welcome

The tent went up at ten to four on Sunday - a big tan tarp slung over a metal base in the last ungentrified sliver of Toronto's downtown.

Around it, tattooed volunteers shifted supplies: black naloxone kits, water bottles, baggies stuffed with sterilized needles and gear.

"Don't you think this is so cool," Angie Austin said to a group of friends sitting on the grass nearby. "What is it?" one replied. "It is," she said, "a safe injection site."

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2 CN ON: Crackdown On Opioids Fuels Heroin IncreaseMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Bieman, Jennifer Area:Ontario Lines:110 Added:08/15/2017

The deadly painkiller fentanyl, thrust under a spotlight by a rare warning by three health agenices and city police, isn't the only dangerous street drug raising eyebrows in London.

Heroin is also showing up, in levels-those who work with addicts say they haven't seen before.

One agency blames the spike on the province tightening the prescription drugs it covers under a program for people on social assistance and seniors, which has driven some users to heroin instead.

"I've never known it (heroin) here. Now it is," said Karen Burton, needle and syringe program coordinator at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection in London, whose work includes a drug needle exchange program. "Heroin is here and I don't see it disappearing anytime soon."

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3 CN ON: Editorial: A Sensible Approach To Dealing With Drug AbuseSun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:84 Added:08/15/2017

In the wake of a recent spike in drug deaths in Toronto, municipal politicians have suddenly gone into overdrive suggesting ways to combat this scourge.

In the space of a week we went from Mayor John Tory leading a plan to speed up the completion of three previously approved supervised drug injection sites in Toronto, to Board of Health Chairman Joe Mihevc suggesting it's time to consider decriminalizing heroin and other drugs.

Clearly, it's time for everyone to slow down.

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4 CN ON: Advocates Renew Call For City To Act On OverdosesSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:92 Added:08/15/2017

People on the frontlines of the opioid overdose crisis say they know exactly what needs to be done to save lives and tackle the "public health emergency."

Build safe affordable housing, expedite the opening of the safe injection sties, expand the distribution of overdose-reversing naloxone and drug-testing kits, and increase funding for harm-reduction staff positions.

At a news conference Friday beside a laundromat in a hardscrabble section of downtown Toronto, community health workers, drug users and anti-poverty activists were also united in their call to end the criminalization of drug use.

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5 CN ON: Harm Reduction Workers Want Action On Toronto Opioid 'Crisis'Sat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Farooqui, Salmaan Area:Ontario Lines:70 Added:08/15/2017

TORONTO - Harm reduction workers in Toronto are calling for the immediate opening of interim safe injection spaces and social housing with a focus on helping drug users as the city deals with a spike in opioid overdoses.

The demands were among a list of measures issued by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and other advocacy groups on Friday, as they called for a declaration of a public health emergency over the issue and asked for the wide distribution of drug testing kits in the city.

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6 CN ON: Advocates Call For Interim Drug-Use Sites In TorontoSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Farooqui, Salmaan Area:Ontario Lines:90 Added:08/15/2017

The city is also being urged to declare a public-health emergency amid a string of overdoses and suspected related deaths

Harm-reduction workers in Toronto are calling for the immediate opening of interim supervised drug-use spaces and social housing with a focus on helping drug users as the city deals with a spike in opioid overdoses.

The demands were among a list of measures issued by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and other advocacy groups on Friday, as they called for a declaration of a public-health emergency over the issue and asked for the wide distribution of drug testing kits in the city.

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7 CN ON: Niagara On Track For Record Fentanyl DeathsFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON) Author:LaFleche, Grant Area:Ontario Lines:111 Added:08/15/2017

The number of Niagara residents dying from fentanyl related overdoses is on track to hit a record high this year, according to data provided by Niagara Regional Police.

Police say officers have responded to 15 fatal opioid overdoses since Jan. 1, with 10 of them involving fentanyl. Police responded to 12 fentanyl related fatal overdoses in all 2016.

This data only reflects overdose incidents that involved the police. It does not capture overdoses, fatal or otherwise, that did not involve a police response such as a person arriving at an emergency room on their own.

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8 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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9 CN AB: Site Eyed For Supervised Drug UseThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Villeneuve, Melissa Area:Alberta Lines:162 Added:08/15/2017

ARCHES identifies former downtown area nightclub as a future medically-supervised drug consumption site

A former downtown area nightclub has been pegged as the location for a future medically-supervised drug consumption site. ARCHES Lethbridge, a harm reduction agency, made the announcement on Wednesday that it had filed an application on July 31 with Health Canada to establish the services at the site formerly known as Pulse Nightclub. The facility requires a federal exemption to allow drug use inside the building.

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10 CN ON: White High On New Opioid ExchangeThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Payne, Elizabeth Area:Ontario Lines:62 Added:08/15/2017

Former Ottawa police chief and current senator Vern White is applauding an opioid replacement program being set up by Ottawa Inner City Health. He has been calling for similar programs across the country.

White planned to contact Wendy Muckle, the executive director of the non-profit health agency that works with Ottawa's homeless. "I am going to congratulate her on being willing to take on the bigger discussion around addiction," White said.

"I guarantee this will make a difference in terms of crime."

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11 CN ON: Not Time To Talk Decriminalization: ToryThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Jeffords, Shawn Area:Ontario Lines:40 Added:08/14/2017

Mayor John Tory says now is not the time to engage in a divisive debate about decriminalizing heroin.

Tory was reacting to comments made Friday by Board of Health Chair Joe Mihevc, who suggested the 'war on drugs' hasn't worked and it might be time for Toronto to try a new approach.

Starting a discussion about decriminalizi rugs, like heroin, could be part of that approach, he added.

Asked about Mihevc's comments Wednesday, Tory responded: "My answer to that would be 'not now.' "

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12CN ON: Ex-police Chief Applauds Drug ProgramThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Payne, Elizabeth Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2017

Former Ottawa police chief and current senator Vern White is applauding an opioid replacement program being set up by Ottawa Inner City Health. He has been calling for similar programs across the country.

White planned to contact Wendy Muckle, the executive director of the non-profit health agency that works with Ottawa's homeless.

"I am going to congratulate her on being willing to take on the bigger discussion around addiction," White said.

"I guarantee this will make a difference in terms of crime."

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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 BC: First Supervised Consumption Site To Open Next YearWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wong, Kendra Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:08/09/2017

Dr. Richard Stanwick has been waiting a long time to see the opening of Victoria's first supervised consumption site.

Now after more than 11 years, that dream is becoming a reality.

Health Canada approved Island Health's application las week for a supervised consumption site at 941 Pandora Ave., to be named the Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre.

The site will offer integrated health services including mental health counselling, a nursing clinic and links to addiction treatment programs.

"This is going to save lives … If you think of a hub with many spokes, this is but one component that we're adding in terms of trying to address the opioid crisis," said Stanwick, Island Health's chief medical officer.

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15 CN ON: OPED: Drug Addicts Are Not 'Thugs'Tue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Tory, John Area:Ontario Lines:93 Added:08/08/2017

Any overdose death is a tragedy.

It's a preventable death and I consider it my duty as mayor to ensure that the City of Toronto is doing everything it can to help prevent those tragedies.

Each person who dies from an overdose is someone's son, daughter, friend or loved one. They are human beings and they should not be abandoned by society due to a particular addiction.

I'm proud to have the women and men of Toronto's public service helping me in the fight against the overdose epidemic.

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16 CN BC: B.C. Eyes Patterns In Opioid CrisisTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:101 Added:08/08/2017

Province's new plan to fight overdose deaths requires coroners to log extensive information on victims

A new mandate in British Columbia to collect comprehensive information on all fatal overdose victims aims to provide a fulsome look at why people use illicit drugs - from past medical issues to economic status - - to help curb problematic drug use and prevent overdose deaths.

The BC Coroners Service's new Unintentional Drug Overdose Protocol requires coroners to fill out an 11-page document for every person who dies of a suspected overdose. The data gathering is the most ambitious in the country. Last week, B.C. released data showing 780 people died of opioid overdoses between January and June this year. The province has been the hardest hit by the opioid crisis that is rapidly spreading across Canada.

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17 US NY: Report Reveals 'Safe House' Where Heroin Users Shoot Up UnderTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:92 Added:08/08/2017

NEW YORK -- A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

None were known to exist in the US until the disclosure in a medical journal, although several states and cities are pushing to establish these so-called supervised injection sites, where users can shoot up under the care of trained staff who can treat an overdose if necessary.

In the report released Tuesday, two researchers said they've been evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a condition of their research, they didn't disclose the location of the facility -- which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal -- or the social service agency running it.

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18 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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19 CN ON: Column: Hypocrisy At Its Most VileSun, 06 Aug 2017
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Levy, Sue-Ann Area:Ontario Lines:97 Added:08/06/2017

Mihevc misses the irony in his drug stance

When the truth came out about then-mayor Rob Ford's crack cocaine use in late October of 2013, 26-year NDP councillor Joe Mihevc quickly joined the queue of councillors and media pundits who savaged him.

In fact, in one interview on Oct. 31 of that year, Mihevc claimed that Torontonians were "shocked and disappointed" because Ford "clearly has an addiction issue of one form or another" and associates with the "wrong people" (meaning, drug dealers).

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20 CN ON: Mayor Targets OpioidsTue, 01 Aug 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:109 Added:08/05/2017

On top of city, region and provincial efforts, Matt Brown makes new bid to tackle local crisis, issues

Another drug crisis, another drug strategy.

In the midst of an ongoing London drug strategy, a regional drug strategy and a provincial drug strategy - none of them completed yet - the city's mayor wants his own drug strategy.

But the new effort will be nimble with a concrete focus, battling opioid overdoses and other problems in large part through the establishment of a supervised injection site, city health leaders promise.

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