Moms endorse call for Heroin Compassion Clubs
published on February 22, 2019
A national organization representing families who’ve lost a loved one to substance use is endorsing a proposal calling for regulated and controlled heroin sales to help stop fentanyl-related overdose deaths.
Members of Moms Stop the Harm say the proposal should be urgently implemented in light of the ongoing overdose crisis. An estimated 11 Canadians die everyday of an opioid overdose, the vast majority attributable to the fentanyl-adulterated drug supply that is controlled by organized crime.
A report released yesterday by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use describes how a heroin compassion club would provide a much safer alternative to the fentanyl-adulterated illicit heroin market that is the key driver of opioid deaths, while also undercutting the profits earned organized crime through illicit drug sales.
“A compassion club for people to access safer opioids is just that: an act of compassion in the face of a devastating crisis,” says Leslie McBain, a B.C.-based co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm.
A heroin compassion club would allow opioid-using members to buy personal amounts of heroin after completing eligibility screening by a health care provider while also linking users to health and social services, including addiction treatment.
“We’re nearly three years into an overdose crisis that is killing thousands of Canadians. Each and every one of those deaths was preventable,” says Petra Schulz, Moms Stop the Harm co-founder living in Alberta. “We desperately need to take control of the drug supply away from gangs if we’re ever going to end this crisis. Legally regulating heroin sales for people who are addicted is one way to take back control, to keep our sons and daughters alive long enough to get the help they need.”
“It’s past time to end the stigma that is killing thousands of people. It’s past time to take control of the drug supply out of the hands of gangs and organized criminals,” says McBain, who spoke at the public release of the report in Vancouver on Thursday, February 21. I can’t bear to see another person die, another son or daughter lost, when we know there is so much more we can do. We know a sure way to stop most of the deaths from an illicit, toxic supply, and that is to offer a safely regulated supply.”
Moms Stop the Harm has nearly 800 members across Canada.
Read the full report here:
o Heroin Compassion Clubs: A Cooperative Model to Reduce Opioid Overdose Deaths & Disrupt Organized Crime’s Role in Fentanyl, Money Laundering & Housing Unaffordability