Green College hosts discussion on the opioid crisis to bridge gap between academics and advocates

published on April 20, 2018 by Zak Vescera in The Ubyssey

Health authorities, researchers and advocates met at a Green College panel on April 17 to discuss the cause of Vancouver’s opioid crisis and why solving it might be easier said than done.

Run by the Green College Outreach Committee, the event was hosted by graduate students hoping to bridge the divide between academics and advocates in a health crisis that killed 1,156 British Columbians in 2017. The panel included speakers ranging from health experts to journalists to harm reduction advocates in order to provide a full picture of the crisis, according to organizers.

“Having that unique combination of views together was really eye opening because we had people speaking form their academic perspective … and then people fighting this issue on the streets everyday and calling for bigger change at the political scale,” said Committee Co-Chair Christina Vaculik

Even though the panelists brought a wealth of ideas and experience, they were quick to set the tone of the discussion — that change doesn’t come easily nor quickly.

“These are the knowledge holders in Canada with respect to this issue,” said MC Shovita Padhi, a medical officer with Fraser Health. “Frankly speaking, if we implemented all their solutions, we wouldn’t have this problem.”

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