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12 Jun 2018

A new study shows stigma is hurting our response to the opioid epidemic

Needle exchanges and safe injection sites have decades of evidence behind them — but not public support.

By German Lopez @germanrlopez  german.lopez@vox.com  Jun 7, 2018, 12:00pm EDT

Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/7/17434480/needle-exchange-safe-injection-site-stigma-study

When it comes to combating opioid misuse and addiction, needle exchanges and safe injection sites have decades of evidence behind them. Yet a new studypublished in Preventive Medicine found that a majority of Americans oppose both — and stigmatizing attitudes toward people with addiction appear to be to blame.

17 May 2018

Needle exchanges coming to 2 Canadian prisons

Corrections Canada will begin 1st phase of its needle exchange program in June

Rafferty Baker · CBC News · Posted: May 14, 2018 

Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/needle-exchanges-coming-to-2-canadian-prisons-1.4662778

Inmates at two federal prisons who use injection drugs will have access to clean syringes beginning in June, with the Correctional Service of Canada planning to roll out the service at other institutions next year.

The correctional service has previously made needles available for inmates with diabetes who require insulin and for people needing EpiPens, but this is the first time drug users in Canadian prisons will have access to clean needles.

"Correctional Service Canada's prison needle exchange program is an initiative that will strengthen ongoing efforts to address infectious diseases in federal penitentiaries and in our communities," said interim commissioner Anne Kelly in a written statement on Monday.

07 May 2018

Guidelines support supervised injection sites

RNAO’s best practices aim to ensure services are delivered effectively and provide access to anyone who injects drugs.

By RICK MCGINNISSpecial to the Star
Sat., May 5, 2018
Retrieved from: https://www.thestar.com/life/nursing/2018/05/05/guidelines-support-supervised-injection-sites.html

The opioid epidemic began in the late 1990s in Canada and the United States, but the acknowledgment it had reached a crisis level came only a few years ago. Health-care workers had been witnessing the rise in opioid addiction and deaths for years, and a systematic response to the crisis was long overdue.

19 Mar 2018

Why it’s not ‘enabling’ to make drug use safer

Maia Szalavitz, The Washington Post, March 13, 2018 

Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/03/13/why-its-not-enabling-to-make-drug-use-safer/?utm_term=.66b4af9ca5dc

In the face of an unabating overdose crisis that has already killed more than a half-million people, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle have announced plans to do what was once unthinkable: open centers where people can inject illegal drugs under medical supervision. Many other cities are also debating so-called safe injection facilities (SIFs) — but unfortunately, a common misconception about addiction stands in the way.

07 Mar 2018

News Release: Ontario Moving Quickly to Expand Life-Saving Overdose Prevention Programs

Latest Data Shows Opioid-Related Deaths Continue to Increase

March 7, 2018 9:30 A.M.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Retrieved from: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2018/03/ontario-moving-quickly-to-expand-life-saving-overdose-prevention-programs.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p

Ontario is expanding access to addiction and harm reduction services across the province, as the latest data shows that opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

There were 1,053 opioid-related deaths in Ontario from January to October 2017, compared with 694 during the same time period in 2016 -- this represents a 52 per cent increase. From January to December 2017, there were 7,658 emergency department visits related to opioid overdoses, compared with 4,453 during the same time period in 2016 -- this represents a 72 per cent increase.

22 Feb 2018

Active Ingredient in Shrooms Could ‘Reset’ Brains of Depressed People

Next year, researchers plan to test psilocybin against a leading antidepressant.

Jesse Hicks, Tonic, VICE.com

Oct 13 2017, 2:55pm

Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found naturally in "magic mushrooms," has shown promising results in treating anxiety and depression. A recently published study reinforces that potential, demonstrating that depressed patients treated with psilocybin showed reduced symptoms even weeks after they'd used it. Even more intriguing, before and after brain scans showed changes in brain activity associated with significant and lasting decrease in depressive symptoms.

04 Dec 2017

Ontario to curb prosecution of HIV non-disclosure cases

Crown attorneys will not prosecute cases of HIV-positive people who do not disclose they have HIV if they have had a “suppressed” viral load, or amount of HIV, in their blood for six months.

By JACQUES GALLANT, Legal Affairs Reporter, The Toronto Star, 
Fri., Dec. 1, 2017

15 Nov 2017

Minister of Health announces new projects to address the opioid crisis

New changes and projects to support the Government of Canada commitment to lower the number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Canada

CALGARY, Nov. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - There were more than 2,800 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2016. The available preliminary data for 2017 also suggest that the number of opioid-related deaths will almost certainly exceed 3,000 lives lost this year. This is nothing short of tragic.

To address this national public health crisis, the Government of Canada is committed to taking comprehensive and evidence-based approach to save lives and protect the well-being of all Canadians.

10 Oct 2017

PrEP in Ontario – Update for Community

AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), September 28, 2017

Contact: Amanda Leo aleo@whai.ca 416-340-8484 ext. 221 Alex Urquhart aurquhart@actoronto.org 416-340-8484 ext. 234

On September 28, 2017, PrEP became more accessible to people living in Ontario than ever before. PrEP is a highly effective way to prevent HIV that involves taking a pill every day and going for regular checkups with a doctor. ACT has long advocated for increased access to PrEP, and welcomed this news. But drug coverage in Ontario is confusing, so here’s a brief rundown of how this news affects you. 

04 Oct 2017

Ontario forms opioid emergency task force to address ongoing crisis

Group will include harm-reduction workers, those who have experienced addiction

By Andrea Janus, CBC News Posted: Oct 04, 2017

The province will create an emergency task force to help address the ongoing opioid crisis, the minister of health announced Wednesday.

The opioid task force, which will operate out of the health ministry's emergency operations centre, will include front-line harm reduction workers, emergency responders, mental health and addiction professionals, public health experts, other provincial ministries and municipal representatives, health-care groups and people who live with addiction.

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