BR Overdose Crisis – CP

Source: The Canadian Press – Broadcast wire
Sep 8, 2017

VANCOUVER – The rising death toll related to drug overdoses has B-C’s addictions minister saying it may be time for the federal government to reconsider its stance on the criminalization of opioids and other substances.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Kelowna yesterday that the government has no plans to decriminalize any substances other than marijuana, and other efforts can be made to combat the overdose crisis.

But B-C’s Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy says criminalizing people for having small amounts of drugs for their own use instead of providing treatment puts them at risk of fatally overdosing.

Darcy made the comment yesterday after attending a conference in New Westminster featuring a Portuguese addiction expert who helped shape that country’s policies through decriminalization and interventions such as treatment on demand.

Darcy says decriminalizing drugs for personal use is also the way to go in Canada considering so many people are fatally overdosing.

The B-C Coroners Service says 876 people have died between January and July this year, up from 483 fatalities in the first seven months of 2016.

(The Canadian Press)


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