November 18, 2017

Canada’s Outside-the-Box Solution to the Drug Crisis: Prescribing Heroin to Addicts



11.17.2017

Canada’s federal government is considering starting a project that will provide drug addicts with safer opioid alternatives such as Dilaudid at supervised sites in order to tackle the opioid crisis.

The Canadian government may also remove some restrictions on heroin so that it can become part of a list of treatment options for opioid use disorder. However, the government has made it clear that it has no plans to decriminalize drugs at this time.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor made this announcement during the “Issues of Substance Conference” being held by the Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction in Calgary saying, “We plan to support innovative pilot projects that will provide a safer opioid alternative such as Dilaudid to people who use drugs at supervised consumption sites.”

There are currently several clinics in Vancouver and Ottawa that cater to this drug addiction program but the government wants to make it easier on communities by setting up more temporary sites where addicts can receive supervised drug injections.

“When people make the application for the exemptions, it takes a bit of time,” the health minister said. “And if there’s a crisis on the ground, I’ve instructed my officials, we really have to look outside the box to make sure we can still process them in a timely fashion but to make sure they have a temporary measure in place in order to offer services,” CBC reported Petitpas Taylor as saying.

Canada will also fund a study which will look at offenders who received medicated assisted treatments during their sentence to see if they committed any more offenses after their release or whether they fit back into society.

Pointing out the complexity surrounding the drug abuse situation, the health minister said, “We recognize that the opioid crisis is a very complex crisis. There’s not one agency, one level of government that can deal with this. Our government has made it clear however that we have no plans of decriminalizing drugs at this time,” Petitpas Taylor said.

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