With overdoses spiking recently in Vancouver due to a dangerous batch of heroin, it's worth considering the vital role that heroin assisted treatment could play in the future combating of these harms.
Between October 12 and 13, 31 overdoses were registered at Vancouver's supervised injection facility, Insite. The 16 overdoses recorded in one day was a record, reported The Province, and above the average 10 to 12 usually registered per week.
None of the 31 people who overdosed at Insite died, thanks to the medical staff on hand to assist them with oxygen and naloxone. Since it became North America's first ever legal supervised injection site in 2003, Insite has not registered a single death.
Speculation was rife initially that the significant uptick was attributable to a "bad batch" of heroin being sold in the area. Vancouver police confirmed this in the following days, stating that samples of the heroin responsible had tested positive for the synthetic opiate fentanyl, a drug that is approximately 100 times more potent than heroin.
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