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BC Centre for Disease Control Considering Opioids in Vending Machines to Battle Crisis

The BC Centre for Disease Control is looking into installing vending machines capable of dispensing alternative opioid drugs.

This would be the next harm reduction tool to help battle the overdose crisis in the province.

The machines would allow people addicted to opioids obtain hydromorphone in places like supportive housing, and supervised injection sites.

Dr. Mark Tyndall says they are still experimenting with this idea.

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“Probably one of the more extreme models would be anonymous vending machines, but we are exploring many models that would just allow people access to a safer supply of drugs. I think the goal right now to address the toxic drug market is to allow people the opportunity to get other drugs and so we’re exploring many different ways that could happen.”

There’s been no word yet on if and when these measures will take place.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy announced on Wednesday that take-home naloxone kits are now available at community pharmacies throughout British Columbia, free to people who use opioids or are likely to witness an overdose.

About 1,900 kits have been distributed to 220 pharmacies for the first time this month, including pharmacies in the London Drugs and Save-on-Foods chains, as well as a number of independent pharmacies.

The expansion of the Take Home Naloxone Program into pharmacies is part of a new $322-million provincial investment over the next three years to address the overdose crisis.

(With files from Jeff Slack with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW and Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. Editor’s Note: the original quotes of this story were wrongly attributed and have been corrected)

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