B.C.’s harm-reduction and addiction treatment systems plagued by gaps

published on February 2, 2023 by Katie DeRosa in Vancouver Sun

In the same week that the province’s decriminalization rollout marked a shift in drug policy, grim figures from the B.C. Coroners Service — which show people continue to die in near record numbers due to the toxic drug supply — laid bare the gaps in the province’s harm reduction and addiction treatment system.

The approach to filling those gaps varies widely depending on where you sit on the political spectrum.

The B.C. Liberals say the NDP government is focused on handing out “publicly supplied addictive drugs” instead of investing in a publicly funded treatment and recovery system. The B.C. Greens say the 2,272 drug toxicity deaths last year are a clear sign that the province’s harm-reduction strategies — which include prescribed opioids to replace toxic street drugs — aren’t reaching enough British Columbians, particularly in rural and remote parts of the province…

View the full article