The government is making it easier for patients to access prescription heroin and methadone in its fight against the opioid crisis.
Forthcoming legal changes will allow people suffering from opioid-use disorder to access prescribed heroin outside of a hospital setting, such as addiction clinics, making it easier for them to balance their treatment with daily responsibilities.
The government is also making methadone treatment more accessible, allowing health-care practitioners to prescribe and administer the medicine without needing to apply for an exemption from federal law.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says removing barriers to treatment is crucial to combat what her department describes as a national public health crisis that continues to devastate families and communities.
Health Canada estimates more than 4,000 people died in 2017 as a result of the epidemic.
Last month’s federal budget earmarked $231 million to improve access to treatment, address stigma and gather data on the opioid crisis.
The Canadian Press