Fentanyl abuse is wreaking havoc in many cities, including Greater Victoria. The Chamber advocates for safe communities for all, though there is no simple solution to addiction and the health challenges that are at the root of the issue.
Earlier today, BC's Minister of Mental Health and Addictions issued a statement marking the one-year anniversary of drug decriminalization in BC.
“This past year has seen a concerning increase in toxic drug deaths in provinces across the country, and British Columbia was no exception. Ending this measure will not save a single life. As the toxicity of illicit street drugs continues to increase, more people are at serious risk. There is no single solution to this complex and unrelenting public-health emergency, and we will continue to use every tool available to save lives and connect people to care," Minister Jennifer Whiteside said, promising to invest in early intervention and prevention services, expanded access to harm-reduction supports, increased medication-assisted treatments, and expanded treatment and recovery services.
The statement comes in the wake of recent comments by former Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe, who criticized the government for not providing better access to help while making the case for an ongoing pragmatic approach to decriminalization.
Lapointe spoke with CBC Radio about her experience and what she believes is needed to address this crisis.
The Chamber continues to call for better access to treatment and care, and applauds the recent funding for Our Place Society's New Roads Recovery Community Centre. The province is providing $9 million to fund 20 beds for women to try and replicate the success the men's program has had at the View Royal facility.