Federal government invests $5.6-million in medical-grade opioid dispensing machines to prevent overdoses

By News Staff, Canadian Press

The federal government has provided nearly $5.6-million for five vending machines that will dispense medical-grade opioids in Ontario, B.C. and Nova Scotia to prevent overdoses.

The parliamentary secretary to health minister Patty Hajdu says three machines are located in B.C., two in Vancouver and one in Victoria, and one each are in London, Ontario, and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The machines are similar to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdosing to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned.

RELATED: Toronto sees increase in opioid-related overdose deaths: public health officials

Overdose deaths have spiked during the pandemic.

Drug users are assessed by a doctor and a baseline urine sample is collected before they can access safer drugs through the vending machines, which are bolted to the floor.

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