Health Canada approves use of prescription heroin

Health Canada has amended regulations to allow doctors to prescribe heroin to Canadians who are severely addicted to opioids.

The government says the country is facing an opioid overdose crisis and health-care providers need help in treating patients suffering from chronic dependency.

The change to the former Conservative government’s legislation means pharmaceutical-grade heroin can be prescribed under a special-access program in cases where traditional treatment has failed.

Health Minister Jane Philpott says Ottawa will hold a summit this fall to address the issue of opioid addiction that has led to hundreds of overdose deaths across the country.

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