Provide regulated opioids to stem fentanyl overdose crisis, says top medical officer

published on July 29, 2019 by Zak Vescera in Vancouver Sun

B.C. medical experts say a regulated legal drug supply is key to reducing an epidemic of overdose deaths.

A report released on Friday by Vancouver Coastal Health makes 21 recommendations to reduce fatalities, including expanding prevention and treatment programs and distributing legal opioids on a trial basis.

“We need to go beyond just treatment,” said chief medical health officer Patricia Daly. “We need to consider a regulated drug supply to replace the illegal drug supply.”

The report notes 90 per cent of over 2,600 opioid samples tested from October 2017 to December 2018 contained fentanyl, the powerful opioid responsible for more than 80 per cent of the 2,741 overdose deaths the B.C. Coroners Service recorded from 2016 to 2018…

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