A Domestic Safe Supply of Injectable Heroin Would Save Lives

published on August 10, 2020 by Jordan Westfall and David Mendes in The Tyee

For so many in British Columbia living at risk of overdose, as well as across Canada, the recent announcement of a new pharma company focused on creating a safe supply of pharmaceutical heroin is a lifeline.

B.C. yet again recorded the worst month in its history for overdose deaths, with 175 dead in June, topping May’s record-breaking total of 171.

The vast majority of the deaths were caused by an unpredictable illicit drug supply used by people following the provincial directive to isolate in place and stay home during the pandemic. In many of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside single-room occupancy hotels, COVID-19 self-isolation measures include “no guest” policies that left many people at risk of overdose to use drugs by themselves.

It isn’t just those living in the Downtown Eastside who are dying. Certain workers, like those in construction, are over-represented in overdose death totals, representing 55 per cent of overdose deaths among the employed…

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