Calgary woman seeking 'narrow, individual exemption' over Alberta opioid restrictions

CALGARY — A lawyer for a Calgary woman suing the Alberta government over regulations that would prevent her from taking a potent opioid three times a day says his client needs a narrow, individual exemption.

Ophelia Black, 21, was diagnosed with severe opioid use disorder after she became dependent on the drugs as a teen.

Black's lawsuit says she currently follows a treatment regimen that allows her to effectively manage her condition and prevents her from using street-sourced opioids.

But the province's new standards require service providers to refrain from prescribing opioids for at-home use unless approved by a medical director.

Her lawyer, Avnish Nanda, is arguing for an emergency injunction that would allow her to continue with her prescription while the lawsuit is being decided in the courts.

He says that without it, she may be forced to buy drugs on the streets to avoid withdrawal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2023.

The Canadian Press