Opioids to be dispensed via vending machine on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Dr. Mark Tyndall says vending machine will help prevent overdoses from fentanyl-laced street drugs

A doctor, whose focus is on public health, says he will soon dispense opioids through a vending machine in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to prevent overdoses from fentanyl-laced street drugs.

Dr. Mark Tyndall says the machine that’s been created in Toronto would scan a patient’s hand for identification, then dispense a pre-programmed number of hydromorphone pills – a substitute for heroin.

Tyndall, who’s also a professor of medicine at UBC, says the pills cost about 35 cents each and focus groups with drug users have suggested most people would need about 10 to 16 pills a day.

He says the pain medication sold under the brand name Dilaudid is typically crushed and injected by people who may have previously used OxyContin, before that drug was made more difficult to tamper with following multiple overdose deaths.

Hydromorphone is currently provided through a limited number of clinics in Vancouver offering supervised injection to those experiencing severe substance use disorder.

READ MORE: Overdose response team in Vancouver shows promising results

However, Tyndall says rigid requirements that make people return multiple times a day are impractical and expensive compared with his plan, which could be in the works within a few weeks.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake man appears in court for death of his wife

Satnam Singh Sandhu appeared in Red Deer Provincial Court Wednesday morning

Sylvan Lake man charged with wife’s murder

Satnam Singh Sandhu, 41, will appear in Red Deer Provincial Court on Sept. 18

Sylvan Lake Minor Football teams put up a collective 223-point shutout

The Lakers, Lions and Bears all had shutout games over the weekend

Sylvan Lake Terry Fox Run sees largest turnout ever

The annual run took a new course, starting at Lighthouse Park, going along Lakeshore to Jarvis Bay

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

Most Read