Fentanyl From the Government? A Vancouver Experiment Aims to Stop Overdoses


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So she began to supply a substitute for the road medication, first Dilaudid, then fentanyl patches, and, now, the fentanyl capsules. Her challenge purchases the fentanyl from a pharmaceutical producer, and an area pharmacy compounds it, with dextrose and caffeine as buffers. The capsules are bought at $10 a success, priced to match the road price precisely.

Dr. Sutherland writes a prescription for the drug, and sufferers purchase it; if they will’t pay, this system covers the associated fee.

When nurses enroll new individuals in this system, they improve the dose over days to search out precisely what the sufferers want to switch what they use on the road. Individuals use the medication below supervision at first, to verify they’ve the quantity they should keep away from withdrawal (and no extra, in order that there isn’t any danger they may promote extra on the road). Then, they will take the medication off-site to make use of.

Chris has been a each day consumer of illicit medication since he was an adolescent. He receives 30,000 micrograms of fentanyl on the dispensary every day. That’s vastly greater than would kill a nonuser — a physician would sometimes prescribe about 50 micrograms quickly to handle ache — however, after years of use, it’s what Chris must really feel a fast rush of euphoria and forestall withdrawal. He stated he hoped to return to working quickly after which would begin shopping for from this system, the way in which he would patronize a liquor retailer.

Dr. Sutherland expects that sufferers comparable to Chris might regularly cut back the quantity they use, as a result of they’re not anxious about how they may rating the subsequent hit to maintain the agony of withdrawal — being “dope sick” — at bay.

Lisa James personifies the anticipated good thing about packages like this. Ms. James, who’s 53, spent 18 years hooked on heroin. For the primary eight, daily started the identical grim cycle: She’d exit within the morning and steal from shops, then go the merchandise to her boyfriend, who would resell it and use the cash to purchase heroin. He’d carry it house, the place she was ready anxiously, already nauseated and twitchy with dope illness.

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