World's First Opioid Vending Machine Opens In Vancouver

The city of Vancouver in Canada now hosts a functioning opioid vending machine. The machine is part of a new project called MySafe that aims to help with the city's drug problem.

The idea comes from Dr. Mark Tyndall, a professor of epidemiology at the University of British Columbia, who was seeking to reduce the number of overdose deaths in the city. These overdoses accounted for 395 deaths last year.

The aim is to give addicts a safer place to get their drugs.

“I think ethically we need to offer people a safer source,” Tyndall told The Guardian. “So basically the idea is that instead of buying unknown fentanyl from an alley, we can get people pharmaceutical-grade drugs.”

The opioid ‘vending machine’ introduced in Vancouver seems like a liberal way to fight the opioid crisis. But like Canada’s approach to euthanasia, we may actually be giving up on deeper problems – while pharma companies profit.

Across Canada, the opioid crisis has had devastating consequences with nearly 14,000 people dying due to overdose and another 17,000 hospitalised since 2016. To tackle the problem, Vancouver has installed the world’s first biometric opioid vending machine, which dispenses prescription opioids to patients by recognising biometric information in their palms.

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