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.
I am an opioid user who is currently not using. Hold the applause; this isn’t about my “triumph” or whatever you want to call it. The time came for me to stop and I did, how is irrelevant. While I haven’t been using for about six months I am in a relationship with someone who is currently still using intravenously and this means I have to accommodate that fact in my life.
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!
In a fantastic step forward, Health Canada has announced the Naloxone Federal prescription status review results - and it's great news. Effective immediately, Naloxone is now available in Canada without a prescription.
A new formulation of Naloxone has received FDA 'Fast Track' designation for the treatment of opioid overdose.
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.
It was only four days after my opiate overdose training and Naloxone/Narcan certification that I found out M had died of an overdose. I didn't know her on a personal level, yet the news of her death weighed heavily on me.
I finally did it, you guys. Better late than never, right?
The Province of Ontario has become a leader in Canada when it comes to per-capita opioid prescribing and high-dose opioid dispensing, and along with it has earned 13 straight years of record setting opioid overdose fatalities. While it is far from the type of 'record' that Ontario should be proud of setting, it seems to sit relatively idle when it comes to taking action towards preventing the deadly issue of opioid overdose.
A group of drug strategy representatives from across the Province known as the Municipal Drug Strategy Co-ordinator’s Network of Ontario (MDSCNO) have taken up the tremendous task of releasing a detailed report on "key actions urgently needed to improve opioid safety and reduce accidental opioid overdose fatalities and injuries by expanding access to the emergency medicine naloxone." The summary report (released June 2015) entitled "Prescription For Life" calls upon the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada and all involved Agencies to take immediate action in order to help prevent accidental deaths and injuries due to opioid overdose.
While there are many illustrations of the utter failure that is drug prohibition, counterfeit drugs produced and circulated 'underground' are proving to be one very deadly example. Although many seasoned users would like to think they'd have no problem identifying counterfeit drugs if they happened to encounter them, the latest news and images indicate it isn't so simple. The methods and techniques used in the production of counterfeit drugs have become fairly sophisticated, making it increasingly difficult to spot the differences through a simple visual inspection.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
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