Canada approves prescription heroin for addicts who have failed other treatments

Courtesy of the Independent:


‘It shows a more healthy approach to addiction,’ British Columbia’s health minister says.


Chronic heroin addicts in Canada will now be able to receive the drug on prescription. Pharmaceutical grade heroin, known as diacetylmorphine, will be available to patients who have not responded to traditional treatment methods.

Health Canada has reversed the laws of the former Conservative government, which banned the practice in 2013.

The move is expected to widen the operations of special clinics that practice heroin-assisted treatment.

Like in many countries, opium addiction is a key health concern in Canada and lawmakers hope the move will prevent deaths from overdoses and help addicts better control their lives.

Heroin purchased illegally can be of unknown strength and cut with other substances, while using needles to inject carries the risk of spreading blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis.

“I’m happy to see this, it shows a more healthy approach to addiction,” Terry Lake, health minister for British Columbia, told local radio. “This, obviously, is reserved for people that have tried other forms of addiction treatment but have not been successful. And I think we need every single tool to fight this terrible problem that we have with addictions.”

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