The Canadian Association for Safe Supply (CASS) has released an infographic to SafeSupply.ca and its social media accounts to highlight potential safety concerns with drug recommendations made in the "Risk Mitigation in the Context of Dual Health Emergencies" prescribing guideline.
These guidelines are designed to support physical distancing practices for people at risk of overdose and COVID-19. The "Risk Mitigation" Guideline recommends oral prescription opioid tablet options as alternatives to the illicit opioid supply. While these guidelines expand access to much needed prescription alternatives, they neglect to inform service providers and patients about the potential health risks that can happen with injecting tablets. Each of the drug options on the Guideline was produced to be taken by mouth, and have not been tested or received regulatory approval for any other method of usage.
While tablets are not ideal for injection use, harm reduction measures such as proper filtration prior to injection can greatly reduce the chance of health consequences. CASS urges the British Columbia government to add prescription injectable opioids options to the Dual Risk guideline.
"People are turning to prescribers right now, and the guidelines that prescribers are turning to for clinical advice does not actually recommend any drug made for injection use. Tablets should not be considered a substitute for an injectable drug preparation. Frontline service providers are working with the only tools that they have. If the clinical guidelines they follow are not recommending injectable drugs, despite being safer for injection than tablets, than decision makers are not offering people regulated prescription drugs at all at a structural level," says CASS President Jordan Westfall.
Opioid tablets recommended on the guidelines are meant to be taken orally and contain non-medical ingredients that can cause vein blockage, endocarditis and bacterial infections when injected without proper filtration.
Please visit our research page for further information on tablet use and health consequences visit SafeSupply.ca/Research.
To learn more about proper filtering and tablet injection visit SafeSupply.ca/Support
To learn more about proper filtering before tablet injection visit SafeSupply.ca/Support
Our research page includes further information on tablet use and health consequences visit SafeSupply.ca/Research.
Feel free to share the infographic on social media, on Twitter our handle is @Canadian_Safe