Guess Who's Asking For A Safe Drug Supply?

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Aristotleded24
Guess Who's Asking For A Safe Drug Supply?

Vancouver police:

Quote:
The very people whose job it is to enforce the laws in Vancouver want to see a safe supply of drugs made available to addicts.

As pleas from advocates and health experts for safe supply continue to mount, the Vancouver Police Department says it shares the view that addiction is a health-care issue and not a criminal justice matter.

"We support safe supply and treatment on demand,' said Bill Spearn, an inspector with the VPD's Organized Crimes Section, adding criminalizing the addicted drives them toward crime.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Excellent. I wish this had a hope in hell in Quebec.

JKR

After thousands of deaths recently here in BC, it seems reality is finally setting in. A safe drug supply has been desperately needed and politicians and bureaucrats finally seem to be seeing the light.

Aristotleded24

I stumbled across this thread while searching for a different topic. Given the sharp rise in overdoses in Vancouver and Winnipeg since the start of the pandemic, I'm gonig to give this thread a

*bump*

Pondering

Covid is accelerating change.

jerrym

The graph accompanying this url illustrates why the long overdue change in drug policy is starting to come. 

About 5,000 people in B.C. have died of illicit-drug overdoses since the public health emergency was declared in 2016.

British Columbia has nearly matched its monthly record for deadly illicit drug overdoses, with 175 deaths during the month of July.

The BC Coroners Service saw 177 fatalities in June, which surpassed the previous high of 174 deaths in May. The service initially reported 175 deaths for June but updated the number on Tuesday.

A statement said the service has detected "a sustained increase" of illicit drug toxicity deaths since the first peak of the pandemic in March, and it's now confirming five straight months with more than 100 such deaths.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has led the response to the province's concurrent health crises of overdoses and the novel coronavirus, said the pandemic has led to more people using and dying alone.

"It's dismaying to know that all of the work that we have done around responding to COVID-19 has been a contributing factor to the numbers of deaths that we're seeing from the toxic drug supply here in British Columbia and across Canada," she said at a news conference Tuesday.

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said the pandemic has restricted access to critical harm-reduction services. Still, she urged people to go to supervised injection site or drug overdose prevention sites to check substances for toxicity and not to use alone.

"If you are using illicit substances, whether it be fentanyl, cocaine or methamphetamine, [use] only in the presence of someone else," she said.

Just under 80 per cent of people who have died of an overdose in B.C. this year were men. Eighty-five per cent of the deaths happened indoors. No deaths have been reported at supervised injection sites or drug overdose prevention sites.

There was a 93 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous people dying of an illicit overdose from January to May. Indigenous people make up 3.4 per cent of the population in B.C., but accounted for 16 per cent of overdoses in that time period — a rate five times higher than other B.C. residents.

Fentanyl remains the most significant driver in the high number of deaths across all demographics. Opioids were found among all those who died, along with cocaine and the stimulants methamphetamine and amphetamine. ...

There was a 93 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous people dying of an illicit overdose from January to May. Indigenous people make up 3.4 per cent of the population in B.C., but accounted for 16 per cent of overdoses in that time period — a rate five times higher than other B.C. residents.

Fentanyl remains the most significant driver in the high number of deaths across all demographics. Opioids were found among all those who died, along with cocaine and the stimulants methamphetamine and amphetamine. ...

Officials have said border closures during the pandemic have disrupted the usual flow of fentanyl into B.C., leading the supply to be replaced by an unstable and unpredictable substances produced locally by those who might be inexperienced. 

"The quality control has never obviously been there with fentanyl, but it's that much worse now, when drug traffickers and dealers are throwing the kitchen sink and whatever they have to make the product," said Dr. Dan Kalla, head of emergency medicine at St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-overdose-numbers-july...

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Amazing how public perception has changed in the past 10-15 years. Harper and other conservative provincial and municipal governemts tried to stop safe injection sites from being an thing. Now we have a public discourse that is actually considering the decriminalization of all drug use.

Aristotleded24

A step in the right direction?

Quote:

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued a new public health order making it easier for people to access safe alternatives to toxic street drugs — a move advocates say is desperately needed as deaths from B.C.'s opioid crisis continue to climb. 

The order, issued on Wednesday, authorizes registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to prescribe pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs "to help separate more people from the poisoned street drug supply to save lives and provide opportunities for ongoing care, treatment and support."

Until now, only doctors and nurse practitioners have been able to prescribe drugs, including substitute medications for illicit-drug users as an alternative to potentially deadly substances on the street.

Overdose deaths have spiked in B.C. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. B.C. recorded 911 overdose deaths between January and July 2020. Over that same period of time, 195 people died of COVID-19.

More than 5,000 people have fatally overdosed in B.C. since the province declared a public health emergency in 2016. Before the pandemic, the number of fatalities had been on the decline for the first time since 2012.