Vancouver pilots new fentanyl-patch program to combat opioid crisis

Illicit fentanyl is much stronger than heroin, meaning conventional treatments might be inadequate
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Vancouver physician is prescribing fentanyl to patients with opioid-use disorder in the latest effort by the medical community to curb overdose deaths caused by a toxic supply of illicit drugs. The pilot project began in July with eight patients who sought treatment for illicit-drug use but have not benefited from existing oral or injectable substitution therapies such as methadone, buprenorphine (Suboxone) or hydromorphone. Each patient gets a fentanyl patch – commonly used to treat chronic pain for conditions such as cancer – that is applied to the skin and changed every two days by a nurse. To address misuse, the patches are signed and dated, and a transparent film is applied to prevent tampering.