Vancouver businesses call for B.C. government to respond to fentanyl with expanded access to clean drugs

published on September 28, 2017 by Travis Lupick in The Georgia Straight

An umbrella group of Vancouver businesses owners has issued a call for an expansion of controversial harm-reduction programs, including prescription heroin and other ways for addicts to access clean drugs.

“Over the past several years, our province, and Vancouver, predominantly, have been overwhelmed by the deadly opioid crisis, now claiming over four deaths per day in B.C.,” begins an open letter by the Vancouver BIA Partnership, which is comprised of 22 business improvement associations based in the City of Vancouver.

“Our business owners and frontline staff are finding overdose victims in their washrooms or on their doorsteps on a daily basis, and even more are dealing with the increasing disorder of rampant public urination, defecation, and the hazardous materials discarded on and around our commercial streets and laneways,” it continues. “The Vancouver BIA Partnership supports an immediate expansion of opioid treatment options, including injectable therapy programs like those at the Crosstown Clinic.”

The Vancouver BIA Partnership says it wants people who struggle with severe addictions to opioids to be able to access clean drugs via the health-care system so that they will not be forced to purchase unknown substances from dealers on the street.

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