Key tools to prevent opioid overdoses are missing from Ottawa’s orders to tackle the crisis, advocates say

published on December 21, 2021 by Jacques Gallant in Toronto Star

As many as 4,000 Canadians could die from opioid-related overdoses in the first half of 2022, according to new modelling projections.

Yet two of the key issues that advocates say must be tackled by Ottawa in order to get the crisis under control — decriminalization and safe supply — are absent from the new mandate letters for the federal ministers of addictions and justice.

“It’s a problem we have solutions for, but if you fail to name the solutions in the mandate letter to the minister, we will most certainly fail to implement them,” said Petra Schulz, co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm, a network of families impacted by drug use-related harms and death.

Schulz’s youngest son, Danny, died in 2014 from a fentanyl overdose at age 25.

Canada recorded more than 3,500 opioid-related deaths from January to June 2021…

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