Is crackdown on Rx opioid diversion fuelling overdose crisis?

published on April 20, 2021 by Phil Taylor in Securing Industry

High rates of overdose linked street drugs laced with fentanyl are causing drug users to seek out diverted prescription opioids, says a new study.

The small study run in Vancouver, Canada, was based on interviews with people who use drugs (PWUDs) and are therefore at high risk of overdose if they buy street drugs or counterfeit medicines containing fentanyl – a dangerously powerful drug many times more potent than heroin.

The researchers – from the University of British Columbia and British Columbia Centre on Substance Use in Vancouver – found that PWUDs are trying to source diverted opioids to reduce their risk of harm, although access is challenging due to relatively high cost and limited availability.

Some PWUDs reported that they were forced to resort to street drugs – including potentially counterfeit pills – because of those access issues, as supply no longer meets demand…

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