Here’s what B.C.’s parties promise on the overdose crisis

published on October 5, 2020 by Moira Wyton and Jen St. Denis in North Shore News

Substance use experts and advocates are hoping to see political parties make bold and immediate campaign commitments to curb surging overdose deaths in British Columbia.

“People don’t want people to die, but at the same time, people are still dying,” said Sarah Blyth, founder of the Overdose Prevention Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. “We just need to make sure it’s a priority in the election.”

A safer drug supply — prescribing pharmaceutical alternatives to illicit street drugs — is at the top of the list for frontline service providers and advocates, who see it as the only way to prevent more deaths in the short term.

“We need an emergency response,” said Leslie McBain, co-founder of advocacy group Moms Stop the Harm. “Because death is the most important thing here, and safe supply and easier access is key to stopping this ridiculous and tragic number of deaths.”…

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