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Alberta MP wants new study on Poppers for possible return to market since ban in 2013

Posted on Poppers Guide's Forum

Topic created by Bring REAL POPPERS Back To Canada
on Thu, 19 Aug 2021 at 21:55

Bring REAL POPPERS Back To Canada said on Thu, 19 Aug 2021 at 21:55...

article CBC NEWS August 9 , 2021

[Canadians gays and straights wanting the return of 'poppers' in a safe formulation should contact their MP's (there is an election on right now ) and use this letter as an example of why Health Canada should clear a path to the producing of a safe supply - and access - without further stigmatizing the gay market....

....article starts ......

TITLE | The drugs, commonly used by men who have sex with men, have been essentially banned in Canada since 2013

ARTICLE | Poppers, or alkyl nitrites, are essentially banned in Canada, but a study suggests the ban has led to increased risk for men who obtain the drugs through the grey market. A Calgary MP is asking for a study on the harms and benefits of poppers, to potentially create a safe supply. (Health Canada)

A Calgary MP is asking the federal health minister to study the possible benefits or harms of "poppers" — a drug primarily used by men who have sex with men — with the possible outcome of creating a safe supply.
Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner said in a letter to federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu that given the widespread use of poppers, or alkyl nitrites, their safety hasn't received adequate study or consideration.
"The lack of research and attention to this issue is likely, at least in part, related to the stigmatization of LGBTQ+ health care," Rempel Garner wrote in the letter, which was sent Monday.

"Use of drugs used as sexual aids in other scenarios has been normalized (for example, Viagra, which is used for erectile dysfunction). However, discussion of pharmaceutical-based sexual aids for use in non-heteronormative situations, such as alkyl nitrites, are sometimes still subject to moralization in public discourse."

Poppers have been essentially banned in Canada since 2013. They're classified as a prescription drug, meaning they can't be sold without Health Canada approval, and no products have been approved.
That move pushed the drugs into the grey market — with products being illicitly marketed as leather cleaners or nail polish remover despite actually being inhaled by users to relax muscles, reduce pain and increase sexual pleasure.

Federal crackdown put men at risk, study suggests
A study last year from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use suggested the federal crackdown hasn't limited consumption and instead put sexual minority men at risk by limiting access and leaving unregulated and potentially harmful products as the only option.

"The evidence is clear that this ban on poppers is both discriminatory and ineffective and must be reversed," said Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, in a release at the time.
Len Tooley is with the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), which is campaigning for Health Canada to review its position on the drug based on existing scientific evidence.

"The current sort of ban on poppers prevents people from actually accessing a safe supply that they know what they're getting," Tooley said.
Tooley knows this first-hand. Nearly a decade ago, he started experiencing retinal atrophy — a type of vision loss he was eventually able to trace back to the use of a specific formulation of poppers.

The CBRC runs an annual census of men who have sex with men, which has found that one-in-three Canadian men surveyed report using poppers in the last six months.

A double standard?

Health Canada has said that since it is difficult to control how much of the drug is inhaled, it can cause accidental overdose. Health Canada said people with certain medical conditions or taking other drugs are at increased risk.

"The line that we seem to be getting from Health Canada is that there are dangers associated with poppers and therefore poppers should not be used. But if you look at alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, we know that there are risks associated with those substances … but that isn't used as a justification for prohibition of those substances," Tooley said.

"I think that there is a little bit of a double standard in terms of which substances are considered worthwhile … and which ones aren't. And, you know, it's not necessarily a surprise that poppers, being more associated with the queer community, are subject to a little bit of a double standard there."

Rempel Garner asked Health Canada to undertake a comprehensive study on the drug's harms and benefits in collaboration with LGBTQ+ community leaders.

She said if the medical findings deem it appropriate, the study should lead to the creation of a system for safe access and supply, as well as a public education campaign on safe use.

The MP pointed to Australia, which recently allowed alkyl nitrites to be accessible only by prescription. That decision has been controversial in the country. While it's expected to create a safe path for access, some LGBTQ+ advocates have expressed concerns it could cause stigma to an already marginalized community.

Tooley said another issue with Australia's policy is that no domestic manufacturers of poppers have jumped through the regulatory hurdles to sell the products, something that he's concerned could happen in Canada as well.

"From my perspective, the policy situation that makes the most sense is to treat poppers similar to how we treat alcohol … which is as a consumer product, which allows for the packaging of the product to accurately describe the use. And generally that would, I think, prevent a lot of the potential harms," he said.

CBC has reached out to Hajdu's office for comment.

Bring REAL POPPERS Back To Canada said on Thu, 19 Aug 2021 at 23:05...

CONSERVATIVE CANADA FEDERAL LEADER SUPPORTS STUDY ON POPPERS | MSN News August 19, 2021

TITLE | Erin O'Toole pledges support for LGBTQ community health on question of 'poppers'
11 mins ago

ARTICLE |

— A Conservative government would respond to the needs of Canada's LGBTQ community, including on the issue of "poppers," says Tory Leader Erin O'Toole

The recreational drug, a muscle relaxant used largely by men who have sex with men, requires a prescription and circulates in the grey market due to its limited availability, potentially jeopardizing users' safety.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner recently sent a letter asking the federal health minister to study the benefits and harms of alkyl nitrites — the official name for poppers — amid a lack of attention that the lawmaker attributes to stigmatization of LGBTQ health care.

At a campaign stop in Ottawa, O'Toole said Tories will advocate for LGBTQ community members, including through requests to Health Canada, following Rempel Garner's inquiry aimed at potentially creating a safer supply.

“I want members of the LGBT community to know if they want something looked at, if they’re advocating for an issue — as Michelle has, as I have, as other members of our caucus have — we want to make sure that a federal government is responsive to the needs of all Canadians in all communities," O'Toole told reporters Thursday.

“We will advocate, including asking for Health Canada to examine issues of concern to the LGBT community."

Len Tooley, a director at the Community-Based Research Centre, said he was "pleased" to hear O'Toole's pledge.

“Instead of protecting the health of Canadians, the actions of Health Canada have threatened the health of Canadians, and it’s unclear why that was done," he said.

A crackdown by the department on the sale of non-prescription alkyl nitrites starting in 2013 drove the market underground, he said.
“The truth is that that did not impact the level of the use of poppers. What it did was create an unsafe supply where people don’t know the type or quality of the product that they’re getting."

That risk carried personal consequences for Tooley, who started suffering from a type of vision loss called retinal atrophy that he linked back to a particular chemical compound in some poppers.

About one in three Canadian men surveyed in an annual report by his Vancouver-based centre said they had used the drug in the previous six months.

Health Canada has pointed to difficulties users might have controlling how much of the drug they inhale, potentially leading to overdose, particularly for users with certain medical conditions.

........more on article but not related to this topic.....................

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2021.
Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

Bring REAL POPPERS Back To Canada said on Fri, 20 Aug 2021 at 20:49...

Here is a link that you can sign a petition to show your support for the return of a safe supply of poppers to the Canadian market place. Please sign and show your support to the return of these products....thanks ....

https://www.cbrc.net/stop_health_canadas_crackdown_on_poppers

NTBiman said on Sat, 21 Aug 2021 at 03:05...

One inaccuracy…
In Australia amyl nitrite was rescheduled as an S3 medicine in February 2019, which in our system means over the counter, but requiring a conversation with a pharmacist rather than a prescription.
Butyl nitrite requires a prescription.
Propyl and isopropyl nitrites were classified as prohibited substances because of the risk of eye damage.
However until a manufacturer apples to the therapeutic goods authority with the data to support an application to market the substance we are left in limbo with no legal supply.

Nitritespecialist said on Sun, 22 Aug 2021 at 16:50...

Oh yes....there is the negative stigma attached to popper use. I think even some gay guys think they are "bad" and only gay whores would use them. Poppers did fuel the AIDS epidemic of the 80s even though they weren't the exact cause. With HIV infection being more controllable and hopefully soon a vaccine will becomes available, it's less urgent to keep poppers out of the hands of throngs of gay bottoms. Still, what is needed is a legit, reputable manufacturer that can perform QC and do safety studies to determine which formulas have the least toxic effects and which impurities should be avoided.

NTBiman said on Wed, 25 Aug 2021 at 06:50...

The last time I checked, medicinal amyl nitrite poppers were still being sold on prescription in the USA. Which begs the question as to why no manufacturers have applied to import FDA-approved amyl into Australia.

NTBiman said on Wed, 25 Aug 2021 at 06:50...

The last time I checked, medicinal amyl nitrite poppers were still being sold on prescription in the USA. Which begs the question as to why no manufacturers have applied to import FDA-approved amyl into Australia.

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