Fentanyl from the government? A Vancouver experiment aims to stop drug overdoses

So she began providing a replacement for the street drugs, first Dilaudid, then fentanyl patches, and now the fentanyl capsules. Her project buys the fentanyl from a pharmaceutical manufacturer, and a local pharmacy supplies it along with dextrose and caffeine as a buffer. The pills are sold at $10 a hit, which is exactly street price.

dr Sutherland writes a prescription for the drug and patients buy it; If they cannot pay, the program will cover the cost.

As nurses enroll new participants in the program, they increase the dose over days to find exactly what patients need to replace what they’re using down the road. Participants initially use the medication under supervision to ensure they have the amount they need to avoid withdrawal (and no more, so there is no risk of them selling excess medication on the street). Then you can stop taking the medication. to use the site.

Chris has been a daily user of illegal drugs since he was young. He receives 30,000 micrograms of fentanyl at the pharmacy every day. That’s far more than would kill a non-user – a doctor will typically prescribe around 50 micrograms temporarily to relieve pain – but after years of use, it’s just what Chris needs for a quick rush of euphoria and withdrawal to prevent. He said he hopes to be able to return to work soon and then shop under the scheme like he would patronize a liquor store.

dr Sutherland expects patients like Chris to gradually reduce the amount they use because they’re not worried about hitting the next hit to keep the agony of withdrawal — “dope sick” — at bay.

Lisa James embodies the expected utility of programs like this. Ms James, who is 53, was a heroin addict for 18 years. For the first eight, the same grim cycle began every day: she would go out in the morning and steal from stores, then give the goods to her boyfriend, who would sell them on and use the money to buy heroin. He would bring it home, where she anxiously waited, already disgusted and nervous with drug addiction.

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