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

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So she began to offer a alternative for the road medicine, first Dilaudid, then fentanyl patches, and, now, the fentanyl capsules. Her mission purchases the fentanyl from a pharmaceutical producer, and a neighborhood pharmacy compounds it, with dextrose and caffeine as buffers. The capsules are bought at $10 a success, priced to match the road charge precisely.

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

When nurses enroll new members in this system, they improve the dose over days to search out precisely what the sufferers want to exchange what they use on the road. Members use the medicine underneath supervision at first, to ensure they’ve the quantity they should keep away from withdrawal (and no extra, in order that there isn’t a danger they’ll promote extra on the road.) Then, they’ll take the medicine off-site to make use of.

Chris has been a every day person of illicit medicine since he was a young person. He receives 30,000 micrograms of fentanyl on the dispensary every day. That’s vastly greater than would kill a nonuser — a health care provider would usually prescribe about 50 micrograms briefly to handle ache — however, after years of use, it’s what Chris must really feel a fast rush of euphoria and stop withdrawal. He mentioned 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 akin to Chris might step by step scale back the quantity they use, as a result of they’re not nervous about how they’ll rating the following hit to maintain the agony of withdrawal — being “dope sick” — at bay.

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

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