Opioid vending closer

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says a safe opioid vending machine is one step closer to reality.

Executive medical director Dr. Mark Tyndall says the CDC has the technology for an ATM-like machine that would be protected against thefts by military-grade steel.

Overdose prevention sites and prescription heroin are making an impact, but such machines could broaden the response to B..C.'s overdose epidemic.

“We need to do something quick. I’m afraid that people will look at this as an interesting idea and be cautious but that is not going to solve our problems in the overdose crisis,” Tyndall told Vancouver city council.

“The machine runs by biometrics, we can program exactly to give this much to this person. You put your finger on it, it pops out two pills, it’s on the cloud and every pill we know about."

It would cost about 32 cents per pill to supply the painkiller hydromorphone. The pills sell on the street for up to $32 each.

Street drugs are often cut with fentanyl, which is driving the increase in overdose deaths across B.C.

– with files from CTV Vancouver


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