A research group in Vancouver has recommended health-care providers offer injectable medical-grade heroin, or another prescription drug, to severely addicted patients if treatment with oral medication is not effective in decreasing cravings. This is being presented as a solution for those individuals who could die from overdose by street drugs.
The guideline, contained in an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) journal, outlines the optimal strategies for providing injectable opioid treatment with prescription heroin and hydromorphone for individuals with severe opioid use disorder. Moreover, the guideline was created for a wide range of health care providers due to the urgent need to address the high numbers of opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Canada.
In her interview with CTV News, Dr. Nadia Fairbairn, an addiction specialist at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and the principal investigator of the study, said the published guideline includes the best practices for innovative treatment necessary to address the overdose crisis causing thousands of deaths in Canada. “I think we really are going to need to think about how history’s going to look back on this era where we’re losing so many Canadians to a totally preventable cause like opioid fatalities,” said Dr. Fairbairn.
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