Canada Considers Opioid Vending Machines For Overdose Solutions

June 11, 2018

Health experts, police, government officials and stakeholders meet annually for the Overdose Action Exchange in British Colombia (BC) to discuss "out of the box" policies to help stop the deaths caused by fentanyl and street drugs, according to Global News. The BC Coroners Service reported that there were 124 fatal overdoses in April, 511 in 2018, and 1,400 overdose deaths last year.  

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) has given thought to and come up with a pilot program involving automated "vending machines" that would dispense hydromorphone tablets, better known as dilaudid, to drug users. The executive director of the BC CDC said that this proposed program would be discussed during the Overdose Action Exchange. Medical evidence shows that this proposal is one of the best ways to stop people from dying so that they can then seek treatment, according to Dr. Mark Tyndall.  

The vending machines can be fitted with biometric sensors to ensure only users registered to the pilot program have access to the drugs, and this could be rapidly scaled up in area where needed.