Drug-crisis advocate believes change in B.C. gov’t may help slow agony

published on June 30, 2017 by Nick Eagland in Vancouver Sun

With B.C.’s fentanyl-related overdose crisis showing no signs of slowing down, a top advocate for victims and their families believes a change in government may help finally slow the agony.

Leslie McBain, founder of Moms Stop the Harm, said she was pleased when premier-designate John Horgan mentioned fentanyl in an address he gave on the steps of Government House, moments after he was asked to form government.

McBain lost her 25-year-old son, Jordan, to an opioid overdose in 2014 and has since been a fierce advocate for policy change around drug use.

Last year, McBain worked with Premier Christy Clark when her government struck a task force on opioid overdose. But McBain said Friday that it felt like the premier didn’t follow through on promises made to tackle the crisis.

“I feel like the Liberals paid lip service and that Christy, her heart wasn’t in it,€McBain said. “She wanted the information, she wanted to do the right thing. But I feel like John Horgan and the NDP are actually engaged on a different level.

McBain said she believes this because the crisis has only grown worse. New B.C. Coroners Service data released Friday show that illicit-drug overdoses killed 640 people in the first five months of 2017, up from 343 people during the same period last year.

Horgan met with McBain on Monday, along with Dr. Evan Wood, director of the new B.C. Centre on Substance Use, where McBain was recently hired as family engagement lead, she said.

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