Vancouver’s drug-dispensing machine: Why it exists and how it works

published on January 17, 2020 by Bridgette Watson in CBC News - BC

Health advocates say a safe supply of opioids is critical to help prevent people from overdosing on tainted street drugs.

Now, a pilot project in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside provides some high-risk users with access to an automated machine that dispenses opioids prescribed by a doctor.

CBC takes a look at how it works.

How does the machine operate?

The machine, called MySafe, is stocked with hydromorphone tablets that are released on a pre-determined schedule to high-risk opioid users. A user must scan their palm on the machine to identify themselves. The machine recognizes each individual by verifying the vein pattern in their hand and then dispenses their prescription…

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