Labelled an effort to fight the growing issue of opioid addiction here within the province of Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has announced that the provincial drug formulary (ODB) will no longer be covering high-dose long-acting opioids over 200mg MED (Morphine Equivalent Dose) as of January 2017.
There are plenty of ideas on how to best address the growing opioid epidemic, ranging from harsher enforcement of drug laws, harm reduction initiatives, to the complete legalization of drugs. One of these ideas, creating tamper-resistant or tamper-proof opioids, has been on my personal radar lately. It's a thorny subject, with passionate arguments on both sides. It all begs the question - to tamper-proof, or not to tamper-proof?
I must say, I've been fairly impressed with the changes made by our new Liberal government and Minister of Health, Jane Philpott. While the reaction time has been lagging, some significant steps have been taken in order to help protect the health and lives of Canadians who use drugs. While we aren't even halfway through 2016, let's take a look at what's changed so far this year!
This week, the Mother's of MumsDU (Moms United and Mandated to Saving the Lives of Drug Users), along with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, decided it was high time to get some answers from our major federal parties regarding Canada's approach to addressing problems related to drugs and drug use. Since many of these issues have taken a backseat in this federal election, the responses they received should be taken in to consideration before casting your ballot this coming Monday, October 19th!
Recently, it doesn't seem that I can go more than a day or so without another 'Fentanyl-themed' article in the daily news/media. While on one hand, it's great that the issues surrounding Fentanyl and opiate use are being recognized and discussed more frequently in the mainstream media. On the other hand, it signifies that we now have a very big issue on our hands. When it comes to reducing the potentially deadly effects associated with Fentanyl use, reporting on the issue only goes so far. Action needs to be taken, immediately.
Are you FED UP with Canadian drug policy? I know I am, and I'm certainly not alone!
An amazing organization known as ruFEDUPca is out to advocate for some long overdue changes to the current drug policies and legislation in Canada.
Agios Stefanos Prison in Patras, Greece is the proud new home of the country's very first 'prison' methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) program, where inmates struggling with addiction can now be provided with proper treatment, medical care and compassion they so desperately require to treat their addictions while incarcerated.
Despite the Russian Federal Drug Control Services plans of creating a new system of drug treatment communes and labour therapy sites throughout rural areas, many activists and addicts are denying any positive changes are occurring.
The devastating effects of the Russian 'ban on methadone' are being felt in Crimea, with as many as 20 former Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) patients having died since it's implementation.
According to a report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), not only have up to 20 former patients died, countless others are suffering from untreated diseases such as HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis, while others still are trying to flee the area in a desperate bid to find the life saving treatment elsewhere.
While opponents of harm reduction initiatives have long cited numerous reasons as to why such services are indeed causing harm rather than actually reducing it, research has shown that these programs are in fact leaving a lasting positive impact on the communities and drug users that implement them.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
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