Substance Use News March 2019

Substance Use News provides a snapshot of news and resources for those working to support folks who use substances. We share pieces on the social, medical and political responses to the opioid crisis, from advocacy to welcome change. See our Drug Use and Overdose Response page for resources on overdose services, team resilience, governmental reports, policy recommendations, and more.



Six-month implant newest option in Canada to treat addiction amid opioid crisis

Canadians addicted to opioids may be eligible for an implant that provides an ongoing low dose of medication for six months, with the potential for treatment for up to a year when a new implant is placed in the opposite arm. Dr. Seonaid Nolan, a clinical researcher with the BC Centre on Substance Use and an addiction medicine physician at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, said the implant is another treatment option alongside medications including Suboxone, the recommended treatment for an opioid addiction, followed by methadone. Learn more


Tracking overdose events

If you’re looking to find out more about overdose events in BC, the BC CDC-published Overdose Response Indicator report can be a good tool. It reports on 1. Paramedic Attended Overdose Events; 2. Illicit Drug Overdose Deaths; 3. BC Naloxone Program Indicators; 4. Opioid Agonist Treatment Indicators, and 5. Overdose Prevention Services Indicators. Learn more


Opioid Litigation Brings Company Secrets Into The Public Eye

In internal memos,  Purdue executives acknowledged  that their prescription opioids are far more addictive and dangerous than the company was telling doctors. At the same time, company directives pushed sales representatives to  get even more opioids into the hands of vulnerable people , including seniors and veterans. Learn more


Supporting health and human rights in drug policy

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network submitted a statement to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Sixty-second session, Vienna, 14–22 March 2019. “We urge Member States to promote a public health approach focused on promoting health and social justice, rather than relying predominantly on criminal law responses.” Learn more


Physicians can choose not to be powerless against opioid addiction

This piece written by Dr. Joseph Panerio-Langer challenges other doctors to step up an learn about compassionate care for people who use drugs, and need tools to safely manage their dependence. Learn more


Obama Administration Failed to Respond to Fentanyl

“In 2016, a group of American health experts asked the Obama administration to declare fentanyl a national “public health emergency”. The administration considered the request but did not act on it. The decision failed to grasp how quickly fentanyl was creating another — and far more fatal — wave of the opioid epidemic.” Learn more




Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! Janet Madsen, Capacity Building  and Knowledge Translation Coordinator, [email protected]






Image: Focus by Andrew, Flickr (Creative Commons)