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    Canada - Beyond naloxone: use drugs for drug users, Edmonton city committee hears 
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    Beyond naloxone: use drugs for drug users, Edmonton city committee hears
    Natasha Riebe
    CBC
    October 31st, 2018

    The city and province could help address the current overdose crisis by handing out a milder form of opioid to addicts who visit safe injection sites, says an Edmonton city councillor.

    Naloxone kits, safe injection sites and opioid treatment centres help save lives in the ongoing battle against the opioid problem.

    But Coun. Scott McKeen suggested taking treatment a step further by considering what is called medical replacement therapy for users of fentanyl and other opioids.

    "I get it -- it's controversial," McKeen told city council's community and public services committee Wednesday. "Giving drugs to drug addicts doesn't seem to make sense to some people. But it makes complete sense to me, and I hope we get there."

    McKeen urged the medical community to advocate more strongly for replacement therapy using drugs such as hydromorphone, a milder opioid typically prescribed for acute pain.
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    It's not really accurate to call hydromorphone a "milder opioid." The reason it is being focused on for maintenance is because it has been shown to be effectively equivalent to pure heroin, albeit twice as potent and less likely to lead to negative side effects.
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