Vancouver prescription heroin users wage court battle with the feds

ANOTHER VANCOUVER-BASED HARM-REDUCTION initiative is entering the courts in a battle with the federal government.

On March 25, Providence Health Care and five long-time opiate users will appear in B.C. Supreme Court as plaintiffs in an effort to secure diacetylmorphine, or prescription heroin, as a legal means of managing addiction.

David Byres, vice-president of acute clinical programs at Providence—which operates St. Paul’s and Mount Saint Joseph hospitals in Vancouver—told the Georgia Straight that the case concerns past and present participants in the Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME), which is under way at Providence Crosstown Clinic in the Downtown Eastside.

Travis Lupick reports

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