“…considers requests for emergency access to drugs for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional treatments have failed, are unsuitable, or are unavailable.”

Conservative members of the Canadian Parliament have opposed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s actions against prescription heroin believing the practice to be detrimental to a healthy recovery.

The conservative administration and then-Health Minister Rona Ambrose barred access to diacetylmorphine from doctors in 2013, but the Supreme Court of British Columbia reestablished its access for clinical trials in 2014.

“Our policy is to take heroin out of the hands of addicts and not put it in their arms,” Colin Carrie, a Conservative member of Parliament, told the Washington Post in September.

Addiction Now reached out to Ambrose, who is now interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, but she declined to comment.

Data on the number of Canadians who are addicted to heroin are not available, Gilman said. “Results from the 2013 Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drugs Survey indicate that heroin use is relatively low in the Canadian population.” The number of respondents (aged 15 and older) who stated that they had used heroin in the past year was too small to be reportable.

“When it comes to people’s lives, that should be a decision made between the patient and their physician,” MacDonald said. “And if somebody needs that treatment and it’s approved by Health Canada, elected officials should not block that. Health care is a human right in Canada.”