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‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Bipolar, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Bipolar

    Bipolar Well-Known Member

    Things are really improving in Canada


    It works like an ATM but for medical-grade opioids and the creators behind a new machine in the Downtown Eastside say it will help combat the overdose crisis that’s killed thousands across B.C.

    A biometric dispensing machine has been installed at the Overdose Prevention Site on East Hastings Street and was unveiled to the public this week. The heavy machine, bolted to the floor, contains tablets of hydromorphone – an opioid medication that can work as an alternative to heroin.
  2. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Good grief.
    Limited access?
    Oops. Four times a day and palm print access.
    It's one answer to your problem I guess.
  3. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Not much different to the services most Scottish pharmacies offer for a cup of methadone.
  4. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I know. Get hooked on something else. I feel sorry not angry. I remember seeing the drug addicts near Waverley station when in Edinburgh. It's like a parallel universe. So sad.
  5. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Helping people by creating a new revenue stream?
  6. Bipolar

    Bipolar Well-Known Member

    The tax payer picks up the tab.
  7. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    As I expect they would here although it doesn't alter the pattern of opiate production.

    It seems the way we try to tackle the production is by taking fields off the illicit market and giving them to the licit market and then the illicit guys go away and make a new field.

    Not sure what the answer is but opiates are far too readily available for my liking.
  8. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that there are two possible solutions. One is that we declare war on the countries producing the stuff and bomb the drug lords out of existence. The other is that we recognise this is something that won't go away, make all drugs available on demand through the NHS and thus deal with both the criminality and the costs. I vote for the second approach because it's cheaper.
  9. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Not all opiates are illegal drugs. Did you see the TV documentary (this week) on opiate use?

  10. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    No but I already know that many prescribed drugs rely on opiates. That's why my preferred solution is to legalise all drugs and distribute them through the NHS. My guess is that the cost of doing so will be much lower than the current cost of illegal drugs in terms of the various harms illegality causes.
  11. TimHeath

    TimHeath Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that the current opiate ‘epidemic' in N.America has been created due to a grossly inadequate US health care system where it’s cheaper and more expedient to 'address' health problems by prescribing opiate based painkillers instead of treating the root cause of the pain.

    This has led to many hundreds thousands of people becoming dependent on opiate based drugs which they may seek illegally and be branded a criminal for doing so.

    That's only one relatively small aspect of drug abuse or misuse.

    The only way forwards would be to remove the supply of drugs from the criminal black market and control it, prohibition simply doesn’t work.
  12. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    I don't see it as an American problem but it is possibly on a different scale over there. Doctors here readily prescribe opiates for lots of things.....about 10 years ago I was prescribed some for anxiety/depression and some for sleeping too. I didn't want them, didn't feel the need for them but when I went back and said I didn't like them (made me itchy on the inside) I was prescribed another kind that I would describe as being about as useful as a few pints. 6 months on them and I reckon I'd have struggled to get off them.

    SWMBO has strong opiate painkillers and shows clear signs of opiate addiction. (fell off a roof and broke her back years ago)

    And it's possibly just my group of friends and family but widowers on long-term anti-depressant and sleeping tablets seems pretty normal.

    Plenty heroin/methadone addicts around by the looks of things too.

    The supply does seem to be the issue but we have been unable to control it...... see Wikipedia.
  13. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    One way or another, these users need a secure and controlled environment in which they can be 'weaned' off these mind-bogglingly strong opiates. The problem is that the cost of such a facility is probably deemed to be too expensive, regardless of the benefits gained. Out on the streets, the dealers will reduce their prices to the point where the 'officially' available sources can't afford to undercut their prices, whilst at the same time, their even cheaper price will result in there being even more addicts.
    Having seen the TV programme last week about these opiates, by all accounts in the UK the online purchasing of this stuff is a lot more regulated than in the US and probably Canada. To date, there are not any as powerful drugs which people are less likely to get addicted to. I'm also guessing that once on stuff like this, your body gets 'used to' them, resulting in those who do have to use them, find they then have to up the dosage to get the relief they need.
  14. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I have always been more or less of the opinion that it makes more sense to legalise the drugs and put the resources currently directed towards chasing users into getting people off the drugs without criminalising them. However, were that to happen, it seems less than likely to me that the ones at the top of the food chain would just kick over their poppy fields and go 'Ah well, it was nice while it lasted'. Either they turn their hands to something else that's equally lucrative/illegal or they simply find other ways to shift their product.

    My (somewhat tongue in cheek) solution would be that post-Brexit, the UK turns its hands to opiate production. It could be the Chemical Revolution now that we don't make anything else on a grand scale. And if we flood the market overseas, the Columbians look less sure of a good thing.

    Sorry. Been watching too much Chicago PD.
  15. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    FWIW it is Westminister standing in the way.... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-49063485

    For end of life care perhaps but at the other end of the scale opiates are often the first port of call for depression and trouble getting to sleep. The system for approving medicines is set up so false claims can't be made about the medicinal properties of substances but it also means that those who want to research alternatives don't have the means and those that are able don't want to.

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