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Heroin compassion clubs | CQDT

Heroin compassion clubs


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Heroin_compassion_clubsLe British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) propose dans son rapport un modèle coopératif pour réduire le nombre de décès liés à la consommation d’opioïdes, entraver le rôle du crime organisé dans le commerce du fentanyl, le blanchiment d’argent et la crise du logement.

Source : le rapport p. 5

In British Columbia, the fabric of society is fraying. The morgues are full of community members who have died of opioid overdoses as a result of fentanyl poisoning of the illicit drug supply. For the first time in recent history, the life expectancy in British Columbia is decreasing due to extreme rates of overdose deaths. Behind this public health crisis are powerful organized crime groups reaping billions from the illegal fentanyl trade and targeting the local real estate market to launder drug profits, contributing to the housing affordability crisis. The causal relationship between drug prohibition and transnational organized crime’s growth is well known and has been clearly articulated, while all available evidence indicates that efforts to curtail the fentanyl supply through drug law enforcement have failed. Instead, prohibition has enriched organized crime groups to the point where recent reports suggest as much as $5 billion annually in drug and organized crime profits is laundered through Vancouver-area real estate in recent years.

In the face of this reality, this report describes a model that has the immediate potential to address the underlying structural basis that has led to unprecedented levels of organized crime profits, unaffordable housing and opioid poisonings. This model is inspired by cannabis compassion clubs and buyers clubs, both of which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s in response to the AIDS epidemic—the last public health emergency our province faced. Then as now, compassion clubs functioned to provide a safe place for people to access medical cannabis and connect with a range of health services, while buyers clubs procured lifesaving treatment for patients living with HIV and AIDS when government inaction limited access to these medicines. Similar small user-driven underground initiatives to ensure access to heroin exist today, but they are risky, illegal and without a secure supply of fentanylunadulterated heroin. This severely limits access and sustainability.

This report proposes evaluating an updated model to these patient-led responses: a cooperative approach through which heroin could be restricted to members and legally obtained from a pharmaceutical manufacturer and securely stored in much the same way as it is already obtained and stored for heroin prescription programs, while also undertaking scientific evaluation to assess impacts. A cooperative could undermine the illegal market wherever it is set up. It could be initiated at little to no operating cost to the public, with the potential to reduce fentanyl-related opioid poisonings and decrease the spread of opioid addiction in the province.

Pour en savoir plus, consultez le rapport sur le site du BCCSU (en anglais, 35 pages)

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