‘A human rights issue’: Lack of treatment for drug users means deaths behind bars – CBC – 2018-04-03

Michelle McPherson’s son Curtis McGowan was rushed to the Guelph, Ont., hospital by paramedics after overdosing, where he was revived with the opioid-reversal drug naloxone.

“The police were there to arrest him … because part of his probation is not using drugs,” she recalled. A month later, he was found dead in his cell at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex in nearby Milton after overdosing on fentanyl.

McGowan had spent the seven years before his death bouncing between hospitals, jails and the street after becoming addicted to prescription pain pills.

National statistics are difficult to compile because federal and provincial prison deaths are tracked separately, but a CBC analysis of federal inmate deaths has found that drug-related fatalities nearly doubled between 2010 and 2016, the most recent year for which data is available. During that time span, 26 of the 30 deaths were people with a history of addiction. Experts say the number of fatalities is likely much higher in provincial jails, where sentences are shorter and the prison population is more transitory.

Read more at:

Blair Bigham
CBC News
April 03, 2018