By Tessa Vikander
VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Canada’s Pacific province of British Columbia was already battling an opioid epidemic when the new coronavirus hit, compounding the threat to drug users, many of whom are homeless and particularly vulnerable during the pandemic.
In March, the Canadian government urged provinces to lower barriers to prescription medications – allowing doctors to provide prescriptions for controlled substances by phone and pharmacists to deliver them – to better help citizens to practice physical distancing and self-isolation.
B.C. is the first province to apply those guidelines to support people who use street drugs. Healthcare providers are ramping up the supply of prescription drug replacements for those who live with addictions to drugs like heroin, and even dispensing some of them via unique…