Según un editorial del diario canadiense The Globe and Mail, las estrategias de reducción de daños, como la legalización, la sustitución (o la prescripción) de opiáceos y los centros de inyección supervisada, han demostrado su eficacia en países como Portugal y Suiza.

Canada's opioid epidemic shows no signs of abating, and a sense of urgency is clearly gripping law enforcement.

In recent months, police have begun laying manslaughter charges against drug dealers for allegedly selling fatal doses of fentanyl and other dangerous synthetic opiates.

It's happened in Alberta and Ontario, and is forecast to become more common. The prosecutions are a signal that Crown attorneys and police see the need to act purposefully in the face of a crisis that will cost more than 3,000 lives this year.

But while the impulse is understandable, it doesn't equate to being the best response.

Stiff trafficking penalties already exist and clearly aren't working – an outcome supported by research. One summary of the findings by experts at the University of Toronto in 2014 concluded that "crime is not deterred, generally, by harsher sentences."

In contrast, harm-reduction strategies such as legalization, opiate substitution (or prescription) and supervised injection have proven their effectiveness in places like Portugal and Switzerland.

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