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One Upside to Opioid Overdoses: More Organ Donors

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-02-21 01:43:39
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More organs have become available for transplant in British Columbia [vice.com], Canada, due to a rise in drug overdoses:

After a brutal year where more than 900 people died of drug overdoses in British Columbia, doctors are pointing to one morbid upside. It might sound like something out of a dystopian horror comic, where drug users are wiped out and harvested for organs. New stats released by the health agency responsible for organ transplants show that's not exactly a far-off nightmare anymore. Health officials have noticed a significant uptick in organ donor deaths, and say that fentanyl is likely playing a role. According to BC Transplant, the number of organ donors in the first weeks of 2017 has doubled over this time last year, from 10 to 20. That's resulted in 59 transplants, up from 37 organs over the same period in 2016.

[...] "We started tracking the connection between fentanyl and organ donation more closely at the start of 2017, and fentanyl has been a contributing factor in about a quarter of our donors so far this year." BC Transplant's statement cautions against drawing conclusions based on a small amount of recent data. But long term trends show the proportion of organ donors dying from overdose has gone up steadily over many years. Back in 2013, 7.5 percent of organ donors tested positive for drugs. In 2016, that number rose to 22.7 percent.

Previously: Opioid Addiction is Big Business [soylentnews.org]
Obama Administration Expands Access to Suboxone Treatment [soylentnews.org]
DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30 [soylentnews.org]
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid [soylentnews.org]
The Calm Before the Kratom Ban [soylentnews.org]


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