StreetRx in the news:

Canadian pills allegedly showing up on market in southern U.S.

The ongoing availability in Canada of an abuse-prone pharmaceutical may be having a spillover effect far beyond its borders.

A form of OxyContin that was banned in the United States last year is still showing up in distant corners of the country, according to data presented at a conference in San Diego.

The claim comes as Canada weighs whether to follow the American lead in banning the older form of the opioid painkiller that’s easier to crush in order to achieve an instant high.

A drug-abuse researcher said data supplied by users pointed to evidence of Canadian pills in 11 states.

They were reportedly purchased 39 times in various pockets of the country, with the most concentrated cluster centred in New Mexico and surrounding southwestern states. The information was culled from a crowdsourcing website, Street Rx, where users can plug in details about the price they’ve been charged for drugs.

In an interview, the researcher who presented the findings attempted to put the numbers in context.

He called it fascinating that the pills kept turning up in so many places far from the Canadian border, during the survey period that wrapped up last Dec. 31.

But he made it clear that the data points to a trickle of Canadian product, not a gusher.

“The U.S. is not being flooded by this product — don’t get me wrong,” said Dr. Rick Dart, of the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance group.

“But it’s consistent… It’s a continuing event. This isn’t one suitcase (being smuggled in).”

 

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