Adding up the billions of government dollars directed at Canada’s opioid crisis

published on May 30, 2023 by Albert Van Santvoort, Claire Wilson, and Daisy Xiong in Vancouver Is Awesome

Since the province declared opioid overdoses and deaths a public health emergency seven years ago, at least 11,807 people in the province have died.

Since Canada announced a new drugs and substances strategy focused on harm reduction, roughly 34,455 Canadians have lost their lives to an opioid overdose.

Since 2016, when both events occurred, the governments of British Columbia and Canada have committed more than $2 billion combined toward addressing the toxic drug crises that have intensified within their respective borders.

The number of deaths, and the dollars intended to prevent them, have only increased.

BIV and Glacier Media reviewed government budgets, records, announcements and commitments in an effort to account for how much money has been directed toward the opioid crisis at municipal (City of Vancouver), provincial and federal levels…

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