Soren­son’s anti drug bill passes se­cond read­ing

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

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.

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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.

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