According to VICE News, The federal health minister for Canada made a recent announcement about the measures being made for the easier access to pharmaceutical heroin and methadone.
These are treatments for opioid addiction. There is concern about the ways that methadone is a growing industry for the private sector. The updated regulatory measures would permit the healthcare practitioners to administer and prescribe methadone without the need for a federal exemption.
Diacetylmorphine, a pharmaceutical grade heroin, will be easier to access as well. 3,000 people died of opioid-related deaths in 2016. That number is extrapolated on trend lines to be over 4,000 in 2018.
The opioid epidemic is an increasing problem in Canada. The illicit drugs can be laced with “highly toxic bootleg versions of fentanyl and carfentanil.” Those doing the trench work on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic need the expanded access to methadone, which is good news with this updated set of measures.
All of this is in line with the harm reduction philosophy and methodology. The increased access for trained professionals to deal with the ongoing epidemic throughout the country in order to reduce the associated harms with drugs.
There has been scrutiny about the increase access when some patients do not get sufficient care and counselling. The clinics want to optimize the number of patients seen each day. One Texas-based company bought Canada’s largest methadone treatment facility.
A Women’s College Hospital in Toronto doctor, Meldon Kahan, said, “It should make OHIP [the Ontario Health Insurance Plan] really wonder about the fact that this chain of clinics is so profitable that an American company thought that there was an investment opportunity here.”
An Edmonton-based medical doctor and addictions specialist, Hakique Virani, was happy to see the removal of barriers to methadone access. He thinks Canadian citizens from the province of Alberta will benefit from the opioid agonist therapy – methadone or suboxone.
“I hope that making the treatment of opioid use disorder something that can happen in primary care might demystify this treatment area… And in Alberta, we’ve got several clinics that charge patients clinic fees in order to be on evidence-based therapy [methadone]… I think that we have to pay some attention to how much we take advantage of populations that are already on the margins.”
Browne, R. (2018, March 27). Canada sees dramatic rise in methadone patients as the opioid crisis worsens. Retrieved from https://news.vice.com/en_ca/article/ywxv7g/canada-sees-dramatic-rise-in-methadone-patients-as-the-opioid-crisis-worsens.
(Last Update: September 28, 2016)
Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
He published in American Enterprise Institute, Annaborgia, Conatus News, Earth Skin & Eden, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Huffington Post, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Jolly Dragons, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology Department, La Petite Mort, Learning Analytics Research Group, Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab, Lost in Samara, Marijuana Party of Canada, MomMandy, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society, Piece of Mind, Production Mode, Synapse, TeenFinancial, The Peak, The Ubyssey, The Voice Magazine, Transformative Dialogues, Treasure Box Kids, Trusted Clothes.