VANCOUVER—The Canadian province of British Columbia is responding to a surge in overdose deaths with a novel technique: It’s giving out opioids.
The province’s controversial coverage goes additional than the methadone treatment programs which might be frequent within the U.S. and Canada. Docs within the province will now be capable of prescribe stronger medication like hydromorphone, an opioid that’s 5 instances extra highly effective than morphine; Dexedrine, a stimulant for cocaine and methamphetamine customers; and tablets of fentanyl, a potent artificial opioid.
Well being officers and advocates say medication obtained from pharmacies and clinics are safer options to road medication, which more and more are laced with deadly quantities of opioids and tranquilizers.
This system is the most recent try by well being authorities in British Columbia to get a devastating overdose epidemic beneath management. It additionally marks the most recent flare-up in a long-simmering debate over whether or not giving customers entry to so-called safer medication helps or harms them.
Nearly 100,000 individuals in Canada and the U.S. died from overdoses final 12 months, as the results of the Covid-19 pandemic amplified the lethal impression of a poisonous drug provide.