Can we reduce drug overdose deaths in the middle of a COVID pandemic?

published on November 14, 2020 by Lori Culbert in Vancouver Sun

Suspects going through withdrawal in Abbotsford jail cells are now offered an iPad to communicate by video with a doctor and can have pharmaceutical replacement drugs delivered to them while in custody, in an innovative effort to get them off deadly street drugs.

The novel initiative was started three week ago by Abbotsford police, and so far three people have participated, said Abbotsford police Sgt. Kevin Murray, with the department’s SORT (Street Outreach Response Team) unit.

“We have secured the services of a series of doctors, local in Abbotsford. We then hand (the suspects) an iPad while they’re in a cell. And they get to do a live, two-way conversation with a doctor where they get to describe for them what their drugs have been, how much they’ve been on. The doctor will then write an alternative therapy treatment, usually Suboxone, hand that script to a pharmacist in their same office. The pharmacist fills the script, they courier (the safe-supply drugs) down to the police department,” Murray said…

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