Another Canadian City Implementing The Patch-For-Patch Program to Deal With The Fentanyl Problem

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The fentanyl problem just won’t go away, and seems to be affecting more and more communities across Canada. It’s a powerful substance, considerably stronger than morphine and even heroin, and it is prescribed for patients in extreme pain, often those suffering from late stage and aggressive cancers. The drug is a patch that is applied in a similar fashion to a nicotine patch and delivers a constant but slow release of pain relief to whoever is using it. Like all prescription painkillers it is usually only accessible via a doctor. In Sudbury, and many other Canadian cities and communities, fentanyl is being abused. Although saying it’s “easily” obtained on the streets may be a stretch, addicts are indeed getting their hands on the drug and are either taking a much higher dose or, in some serious cases, melting it down and injecting it as if it was heroin. This is leading to a new standard of abuse in Sudbury. The problem is so rampant in fact that paramedics responded to over 400 overdose calls in Sudbury alone in 2013, many of them relating to fentanyl. Naturally the police are involved in finding out exactly what’s been going on in their city, especially since they’ve learned that a number of pharmacies have been robbed in order for dealers to provide to their “customers” on the street.

Similar to other parts of Canada, Sudbury is implementing a patch-for-patch program that involves a group mentality to end fentanyl’s reign on the streets. It would encourage people who do need the drug to return their used fentanyl patches to the pharmacy at which they received their dose, and thus take an immense amount of the drug off the streets. You may be wondering how this will have any effect whatsoever on those using the drug incorrectly. The truth is that those with legitimate uses of the drug often sell the remaining tiny bits of their patch to addicts. The exact dollar amount they get from this varies, but it can be a significant pay check as full, unused patches themselves often sell for hundreds of dollars on the street.

Fentanyl is a very volatile substance and it does cause unfortunate outcomes, one of which is death,” he said. “We see and we know that very often, Fentanyl patches that are prescribed can often be easily diverted for illicit purposes out on the streets.

Although the fentanyl problem in Sudbury is a serious one, they have taken steps in the right direction in the sense that they don’t consider the drug abuse an issue solely to do with the police. Cracking down on drug users is not going to have any sort of lasting impact, but initiatives like the patch-for-patch program may just have a chance at saving lives across Sudbury and the rest of our country.

 

VIA:CBCNEWS

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Sobriety Foundation

Another Canadian City Implementing The Patch-For-Patch Program to Deal With The Fentanyl Problem

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