Time to move beyond harm reduction to focus on addictions recovery

published on July 18, 2018 by Daphne Bramham in Vancouver Sun

With every new drug crisis in the past three decades, the B.C. government’s response has been harm reduction — needle exchanges, safe injection sites, opioid replacement therapies, prescription medical-grade heroin and naloxone.

Missing have been corresponding increases in addictions treatment and recovery, despite promises made 17 years ago in Vancouver’s much-lauded four pillars plan.

Lives have been saved and infection rates for hepatitis C and HIV have decreased. But there’s still daily chaos on the Downtown Eastside and, by the end of May, 3,064 people had died in the provincial fentanyl overdose crisis that’s in its third year.

This is why the focus on recovery in the B.C. Centre for Substance Use report released on Wednesday is so important.

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