Sorenson’s anti drug bill passes second reading
Battle River–Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson’s bill to take action against the abuse of controlled substances receive second reading in the House of Commons .
On Thursday, November 17 Sorenson moved that Bill C-307 receive second reading. The bill, at its heart is to enable the Health Minister to require prescription medicine to have abuse-deterrent formulations or tamper proof or resistant properties. This will make the drugs more difficult to crush, snort, inject and reduce the ability for it to be abused.
“I said it is a small tool in the toolbox, it is not going to solve every problem with drugs, and it is part of a larger strategy,” said Sorenson.
The tragic affects of fentanyl and other opioids have been well documented and on the rise. In 2015 in Alberta 139 people died as result of fentanyl-related complications. Within the first six months of 2016, that number has risen to 153. In BC from January to the end of September 332 have died as a result of an overdose of fentanyl.
He said his daughter is a nurse in Killam, and even there, there have been requests for narcon kits to help treat overdoses.
He said dealers are mixing fentanyl with other drugs.
“It has to be stopped. It is used by organized crime, that is really what it is. A person who is buying something has no idea what it’s mixed with it,” he said. “In some cases, it is one little grain mixed in with cocaine and it can kill you.”
“This would only prevent this only in cases where they take prescribed fentanyl and break it up and use to add to other drugs. Obviously, this isn’t going to stop those who are using illicit fentanyl coming in from China,” he said.
They could also help make pharmaceutical supplies more secure, and not subject to potential street crime.
He says tamper resilient technologies are evolving quickly. In some cases, the pills are manufactured with antagonist formulations such as the addition of naloxone that can mitigate the effect of the drug. Some are formulated in such a way, it can only be released by digestion or the active ingredients are encased making them impossible to extract.
”It is like science fiction, but there is a lot of new technology that can help save lives.
The bill has gone to committee and he does not expect the bill to return to the house until after Christmas. He has support from the NDP in the house.
MP Kevin Sorenson has introduced Bill C-307 which aims to make prescription drugs, including Fentanyl to have tamper resistant properties or abuse deterrent formulations.