Walpole Island First Nation Targets Drug Smugglers

Earlier in July, Walpole Island First Nation, a community situated south of Sarnia, Ont., declared a state of emergency to help stop a spike in overdoses. Opiates and, specifically fentanyl have been determined as the leading cause of the growing numbers of overdoses and deaths in the community over the last year and a half. … Continued

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Fraser Health region sees increase in overdoses

Over recent months, health officials in the Fraser Health region of B.C. have voiced their concerns regarding an increase in overdoses linked to use of opioids laced with benzodiazepines. In her interview with CBC News, Dr. Ariella Zbar, medical health officer for the Fraser Health Authority, said that due to opioids being increasingly contaminated with … Continued

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More states legalizing cannabis

In recent years, recreational cannabis legalization in the U.S. has been slowly gaining momentum state by state. The shifting legal landscape in the U.S. currently overlaps with a significant increase in public support for legalization, which is now favoured by the majority of Americans. Notably, every ballot initiative involving the decriminalization or legalization was passed … Continued

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New Jersey employers seek workplace testing guidance as cannabis becomes legalized

Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A21, the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (CREAMMA), enabling legislation for the amendment to the New Jersey Constitution and, thereby, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis in the state. Although the new legislation allows employers to conduct various forms of drug … Continued

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Experts advise good-faith efforts matter in return-to-work plans after drug and alcohol rehabilitation

A recent webinar presented by the labour, employment and human rights law publisher Lancaster House examined substance use in the workplace, as well as the outcomes of arbitration cases. According to the webinar speakers, “good-faith efforts” are essential in creating return-to-work plans for employees after treatment of drug and/or alcohol disorders. According to Aminah Hanif, … Continued

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Opioid-related calls at all time high in Edmonton

An Edmonton harm reduction group is hoping to fill a service gap on city streets as ambulance crews respond to opioid-related calls in unparalleled numbers. In recent months, emergency medical services in Edmonton have witnessed an unprecedented growth in opioid-related emergency calls. Specifically, between July 26 and Aug. 1, Edmonton EMS responded to 162 opioid-related … Continued

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Saskatchewan provides testing kits at safe consumption sites

Earlier in August, Saskatchewan’s two safe supervised consumption sites received rapid testing kits from the provincial government in order to detect the presence of potentially dangerous adulterants. With the new equipment and training, the staff at the consumption sites will be able to test drug samples for fentanyl and benzodiazepines in about five minutes. Fentanyl … Continued

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Dangerous ‘benzo-dope’ replacing fentanyl on the streets

Over the last year, there have been numerous reports of benzodiazepine-adulterated opioids (also referred to as “benzo-dope”) in Canada’s illicit drug supply. According to new reports, benzodiazepines have been detected in as many as 60% of overdose deaths in British Columbia. The benzodiazepines detected in illicit opioids in Canada are not pharmaceutical drugs, such as … Continued

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‘Unknown substance’ causes overdose deaths in Nova Scotia

Earlier in July, Nova Scotia Health released an alert on social media notifying the public that a life-threatening substance has been circulating in the local drug supply. In his interview with CBC News, Matt Bonn, the program coordinator for the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs, and the co-founder of HaliFIX Overdose Prevention Society, … Continued

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Smartphones to become overdose prevention tools

In a recent interview with CBC News, Dr. Dan Werb, an epidemiologist and executive director of the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation in Toronto discussed a new portable drug-testing device called DoseCheck that could serve as an overdose prevention tool. Together with Dr. Drew Hall, a colleague from the University of San Diego, Dr. Werb … Continued

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