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Articles on Opioid crisis

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OxyContin, an opioid drug heavily marketed by Purdue Pharma, is associated with billions of dollars of health-care costs in Canada related to the opioid crisis. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

$150M is not enough: Canada’s proposed Purdue Pharma settlement for opioid damages is paltry and won’t prevent future crises

The Purdue Pharma settlement is paltry compared to costs of the opioid crisis. Without major changes to pharma industry regulation, there is little reason to think a similar crisis won’t occur again.
B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson holds a copy of exemption documents that enable British Columbia to decriminalize possession of small amounts of ‘hard’ drugs for personal use. B.C.’s bold experiment will be closely watched as a comparator with other progressive jurisdictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Decriminalizing hard drugs in B.C. follows decades of public health advocacy

British Columbia’s bold experiment provides an opportunity to implement more balance in Canadian drug policy, and a more principled withdrawal from the war on drugs.
Opioids can help reduce the amount of medication needed to achieve anesthesia. gpointstudio/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Why opting out of opioids can be dangerous in the operating room

Non-opioid directives allow patients to refuse opioids in all health care settings. For surgical procedures that require anesthesia, however, this may do more harm than good.
Game jams are powerful spaces for galvanizing creativity in disenfranchised communities. (Shutterstock)

Making video games can help support addiction recovery

Game making is an art form that many aren’t intimately familiar with. Unlike other creative practices, game makers must create the rules and laws that govern and shape player behaviours.
Methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine distributed by the Drug User Liberation Front, a grassroots organization proving a safe supply of illicit drugs, in Vancouver, in April 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Safer supply of opioids saves lives: Providing alternatives to toxic street drugs

People are dying from using a toxic drug supply. Safer supply and other approaches that listen to the needs of people who use drugs are critical to saving lives and addressing the opioid crisis.
The concept of placebos – which are sometimes called “sugar pills” – has been around since the 1800s. Wladimir Bulgar/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

In research studies and in real life, placebos have a powerful healing effect on the body and mind

Drug manufacturers often shun the use of placebos in clinical trials. But research suggests that placebos could play an important role in the treatment of depression, pain and other maladies.
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?’
Journalists must do more than cover news events. They must challenge the status quo, and dig deeper into the stories they cover. Journalists are seen in a scrum at the federal Liberal cabinet retreat in September 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Want to make the news better? Shatter the status quo

It’s not enough anymore for journalists to be mere watchdogs. Journalism must address subconscious social biases to give readers a fuller picture of what they need to know.

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