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Sep 13

Drug Fact Sheet: Opioids and Opiates

With the ongoing opioid crisis being felt in Toronto, Vancouver, and most towns and cities across North America, many could use a refresher on what opioids are and why they affect the human body so strongly. In the past, opioid referred only to synthetic opiates, drugs that were chemically created to mimic opium. Opiates referred only to drugs derived from opium that is naturally occurring in the poppy plant. However, most medical professionals and the media now use "opioid" as the general...
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Aug 31

International Overdose Awareness Day – Drug Overdose Statistics in Canada

Since its inception in 2001, August 31st has been International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). It began in Melbourne, Australia and since then has been adopted by both government and non-government organizations to hold events to raise awareness and commemorate the loss of life. The climbing accidental opioid-related death toll in Canada has made many Canadians well aware of the danger of overdose. This blog will look at what an overdose is, as well as the current state of opioid-related...
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Aug 14

Drug Fact Sheet: Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine, often referred to as meth, is a strong and toxic illegal drug. It is part of the stimulant category and its only use is as a recreational drug. It has no pharmaceutical purpose, although it is cousins to amphetamine which is used to treat conditions like ADD. It can be consumed by snorting as a white powder, injected when the powder is mixed with water, tablets that are swallowed, or by smoking “rocks” or crystals which is where the name crystal meth comes from. Short-Term...
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Jul 10

Drug Fact Sheet: Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

This month’s Drug Fact Sheet is looking at cocaine and crack cocaine. Where did this drug originate and why is it still so prevalent? History Cocaine is derived from the coca plant, native to South America. Indigenous people of the area have chewed the leaf for centuries in daily life as well as a part of religious ceremonies. Cocaine was only isolated from the leaf in 1860 by a German chemist, but around the same time, other Europeans were beginning to experiment with its recreational...
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Jun 12

Drug Fact Sheet: Methadone and Suboxone

North America is in the grips of an opioid epidemic and on the front lines of pharmaceutical relief are Methadone and Suboxone. Many Canadian cities, especially Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto are feeling the effects of hundreds of deaths due to opioid overdoses.  This fact sheet will help decipher exactly what Methadone and Suboxone are, how they help opioid users during detox, and what changes are happening in Canada to help more people access these medications. Interested persons can browse...
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May 10

Tobacco Facts: Drug Fact Sheet on Tobacco

Early History Tobacco is a plant native to the Americas, and it is believed to have been first used in society around 1 BC. Indigenous North Americans used tobacco for both religious and medicinal purposes. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries when Europeans went to the Americas, tobacco was used in trade and was taken back to Europe to grow. Tobacco became popular and by the 18th century, companies were being established in America to process tobacco into cigars and snuff. Early 19th...
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