As the opioid epidemic rages on, some have found friendship, protection and a sense of purpose in an unlikely place.
Ontario just announced that it is starting its war against addiction and deaths from opioid overdoses by targeting the elderly and disabled. Beginning in January 2017, Ontario will no longer cover the cost of higher doses of certain pain medications on its drug benefit formulary.
Treatment as Prevention (TasP), pioneered by the BC-CfE and implemented in British Columbia with support of the provincial government, has shown that bringing HIV services to those in need where they are at saves lives, prevents new infections and contributes to health care sustainability.
I think a strategic approach to harm minimization needs to be the primary focus of a drug strategy in Canada. Not the typical harm minimization strategy, but rather one that focuses on building an innovative and integrated response that recognizes that the solution to addiction is as much or more about early intervention and combating the addiction directly. It is necessary to engage partners and service providers within the youth community if we hope to develop an innovative, enhanced education and prevention program targeted at youth in schools.
Today, doctors' offices are inundated with people who have been harmed more than helped by these drugs. Thousands more are dead. And yet the marketing continues, with pain specialists and advocacy groups opposing moves to curtail opioid prescription, their efforts financed by the very companies that make these drugs.
Last week, MPs debated Bill C-2 -- an Act to Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The primary purpose of the bill is to obstruct the establishment of safe injection sites in Canada, despite over a decade of successful harm reduction at Vancouver's Insite. This is just one example of how politicians of all stripes get drug policy wrong.
Google Rob Ford and you're met with the latest on the "Crackgate Scandal." In what can only be described as a whirlwind of chaos, Toronto's Mayor is in the news again with another bizarre allegation. What needs to happen next is that the Mayor should address the allegations head-on then move on. What Toronto needs to do is start vetting potential Mayoral candidates for 2014 as Ford has made it clear that he'll be running again. When you honestly think about it, our standards are not that high when it comes to politicians; we need to raise the bar.
This past Father's Day our family chose to spend Sunday as volunteers with the Jewish humanitarian relief organization Evangel Hall in downtown Toronto serving meals to the homeless. It was an experience we will not soon forget.
It's incredibly sad that Amy Winehouse didn't live to see her 30th birthday. Some people are saying that it was inevitable