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Metro Vancouver's Top Doctor Calls for Safe Drug Supply as Fentanyl Overdoses Rise

"Vancouver Coastal Health’s top doctor is joining the calls for a safe and regulated drug supply in the region to help combat the overdose crisis.

In a report released Friday, chief medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly says the safe supply would help fill the gap left by people who haven’t connected with the health care system, arguing expanding treatment for people battling addiction isn’t enough to eliminate further deaths.

'Replacing the unregulated, illegal supply of opioids with legal alternatives must rise to the top of our priority list, and requires our urgent attention,' Daly writes at the top of the report.

The report found fentanyl was detected in 87 per cent of overdose deaths across the Vancouver Coastal Health area in 2018 — a six per cent rise from the previous year.

In 2015, only 25 per cent of fatal overdoses involved fentanyl, an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin.

Daly makes 21 recommendations to improve services throughout the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region, which covers more than a million people on the South Coast.

Chief among those recommendations is to integrate the various services provided to care for people with substance abuse disorders."

Read on...

Link to Full Report

Related Article: How Opioid Courts Can Help Addicts Begin the "Long Road to Recovery"



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