Last month the Washington Post newspaper reported that British Columbia officials plan to set up three vending machines to dispense hydromorphone to people with opioid use disorder.
Canada has struggled with opioid overdose deaths just like the U.S., and they declared their opioid use disorder public health emergency in 2016. Projected data from 2017 estimates four thousand Canadians died from opioid use disorder that year. (In the U.S., an estimated sixty-four thousand people died from overdoses in 2016.) The extremely potent drug fentanyl has been detected in around 83% of the Canadian overdoses.
In British Columbia, overdose death rates last year were estimated at 30 per 100,000 people, which is roughly the same as in Rhode Island. (Our highest state, West Virginia, had around 52 per 100,000).
I’ve blogged before about Vancouver’s heroin-assisted therapy (HAT). In a blog in 2013, I described results of trials in Vancouver and Montreal where…
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