A University of British Columbia professor who specializes in public health said he hopes to soon dispense opioids through a vending machine on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in order to prevent overdoses from fentanyl-laced street drugs.
Dr. Mark Tyndall said the eight-milligram hydromorphone pills – which are a substitute for heroin – cost about 35 cents each. Focus groups with drug users have suggested most people would need about 10 to 16 pills a day, he said.
We’d use hydromorphone pills to begin with – the machines could be stocked with a lot of things – but the first step would be to follow what we’ve learned from the Crosstown Clinic, where people have been using hydromorphone and with some success, so we can use what we’ve learned from that to dispense these in a regulated form.
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