Life Preservation –
June 21, 2019 – It’s a bold move, testing the limits of how far harm-reduction efforts should go in the face of the deadly opioid drug crisis sweeping London and much of Canada. A program in London is giving prescription narcotics to some of the city’s most vulnerable people — the drug users whose addiction puts them at imminent risk of infections and deadly overdoses.
London Intercommunity Health Centre family doctor Andrea Sereda has been quietly prescribing opioids to a group of people struggling with addiction as a way to deter them from instead seeking out illegal street drugs, including hyper-potent fentanyl. “People are turning around really quickly and really solidly on the program,” said Sereda. “We select people who we think are highly vulnerable and at high risk of death . . . We are being really careful and really thoughtful about how we prescribe these opioids.” There have been no overdose fatalities among the group, she said.