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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

Students show off performing and artistic talents at GFSS

Grand Forks Secondary students hosted an art show and play last weekend

Grand Forks community centre open house set for Jan. 23 at the aquatic centre

Designers and the development committee will be at the aquatic centre from 4 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 23

Boundary Family Services takes over shelter management in Grand Forks

The organization got Grand Forks city council’s approval on Jan. 15

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Victoria police arrest 12 anti-pipeline protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Most Read