Canada’s Safe-Supply Vending Machines Project Is Even More Important Now

published on May 5, 2020 by Matthew Bonn in Filter Magazine

Due to the drastic increase in opioidinvolved overdoses, British Columbia declared a public health emergency in 2016. Fentanyl was in town, contributing to thousands of deaths. The nationwide overdose crisis killed about 11 Canadians a day between January 2016 and September 2019. Something had to change, and an innovation pioneered by Dr. Mark Tyndall—helpful for any community impacted by poverty and drug-related problems, but more relevant than ever amid COVID-19 social distancing—represents an important step forward.

Tyndall saw the need to provide a safe supply of drugs to people, removing the possibility of adulteration, in a way that supported drug-user autonomy. His idea was to make the opioid hydromorphone (Dilaudid) available to people who use opioids—in general, but ultimately through “vending machines” in a project called MySafe…

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