Amidst Drug Crisis, Calls for Bold Safe Supply Spending Go Unheeded

published on February 22, 2022 by Moira Wyton in The Tyee

Today’s B.C. budget indicates no change in its approach to the worsening toxic drug crisis despite unprecedented deaths and calls for bold spending to expand safe supply.

An average of seven people are now dying each day, with 2,224 more deaths in 2021. It was the most fatal year recorded after 1,768 deaths in 2020.

The budget stays the course on current funding plans for treatment and recovery programs, and does not include new spending for safe supply, which advocates say has become more urgent in the last year.

It promises $164 million over the next three years for complex care housing to support about 500 more people with intersecting mental health, brain injury and substance use needs, as well as those transitioning out of incarceration and residential treatment programs.

“This first-of-its-kind approach will help stop the cycle of evictions, shelters, emergency rooms and jails for hundreds of people with complex care needs,” said Finance Minister Selina Robinson from the legislature…

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