Opioids to be dispensed via vending machine on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Dr. Mark Tyndall says vending machine will help prevent overdoses from fentanyl-laced street drugs

A doctor, whose focus is on public health, says he will soon dispense opioids through a vending machine in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to prevent overdoses from fentanyl-laced street drugs.

Dr. Mark Tyndall says the machine that’s been created in Toronto would scan a patient’s hand for identification, then dispense a pre-programmed number of hydromorphone pills – a substitute for heroin.

Tyndall, who’s also a professor of medicine at UBC, says the pills cost about 35 cents each and focus groups with drug users have suggested most people would need about 10 to 16 pills a day.

He says the pain medication sold under the brand name Dilaudid is typically crushed and injected by people who may have previously used OxyContin, before that drug was made more difficult to tamper with following multiple overdose deaths.

Hydromorphone is currently provided through a limited number of clinics in Vancouver offering supervised injection to those experiencing severe substance use disorder.

READ MORE: Overdose response team in Vancouver shows promising results

However, Tyndall says rigid requirements that make people return multiple times a day are impractical and expensive compared with his plan, which could be in the works within a few weeks.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Grand Forks pool aims for gradual reopening

The Piranhas Swim Club will be the first to test the water, starting July 20

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Sculpture to offer point of beauty and unity at rivers’ junction in Grand Forks

Artist David Seven Deers spent 19 months sculpting Shining Raven Woman

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read