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Articles on Fentanyl

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Naloxone can prevent deaths from opioid overdose, but there is no way to reverse the effects of benzodiazepine overdose without risk. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Benzo-dope’ may be replacing fentanyl: Dangerous substance turning up in unregulated opioids

Fentanyl adulteration led to the replacement of heroin in the unregulated drug supply of British Columbia. Now that benzodiazepines are present in many opioids, are we headed towards a ‘new normal?’
One potential way to make opioids less addictive is to make them target injured tissue rather than the healthy brain. PM Images/Photodisk via Getty Images

Designing less addictive opioids, through chemistry

While the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, the opioid epidemic got worse as drug overdose deaths soared. New research proposes a way to chemically modify opioids to reduce the risk of addiction.
Annie Storey holds a cross with a photo of her late son Alex Storey, before a march to mark the five-year anniversary of British Columbia declaring a public health emergency in the overdose crisis, in Vancouver, on April 14, 2021. CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Overdose crisis: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare decades of drug policy failures

Across the country, overdose deaths have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A man injects drugs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Feb. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Without safe injection sites, more opioid users will die

In the midst of a public health crisis, with increasing rates of death from opioid overdose, the Ontario government is clawing back life-saving measures.
A man walks in a back alley in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, February 2019. More people fatally overdosed in British Columbia last year compared with 2017 despite efforts to combat the province’s public health emergency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The opioid crisis is not about pain

A policy response focused on reducing prescription opioids will not resolve North America’s opioid crisis. And it is hurting many adults who live with otherwise unbearable chronic pain.
Few medical schools offer training in addictions medicine and most doctors feel they lack the specialist expertise to deal with the inpatient opioid crisis. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

How the opioid crisis is disrupting hospital care

Canadian hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with the inpatient opioid crisis. Lack of specialist addictions care puts patients and staff at risk.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams demonstrates the proper procedure for administering a nasal injection of naloxone on reporter Jennifer Lott, left, during a visit to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., May 17, 2018. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Naloxone remains controversial to some, but here’s why it shouldn’t be

One study argues that naloxone increases opioid use because it protects against death from overdose. But a closer analysis shows Narcan is the number one public health tool to fight the overdose epidemic.
A woman holds a photo of her best friend, who died of a drug overdose in January 2017, before a march to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

How to stop overdoses? Prevent them to begin with

Catastrophic increases in opioid overdose deaths across Canada require a broad response – tackling housing, food and income insecurity as well as the contaminated drug supply.

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