Calls ramp up for decriminalized hard drugs as B.C. breaks overdose death annual record (Dr. Evan Wood, BCCSU)

Nearly 1,500 British Columbians died of suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in 2018.

The BC Coroners Service reports 1,489 people died of drug overdoses compared to 1,420 illicit drug overdose deaths in 2017.

“We are using every possible available tool to save lives, including a first-in-Canada pilot project at the St. Paul’s Hospital emergency department that provides people who have survived an overdose with take-home doses of suboxone and a well-defined treatment plan. This helps to stabilize people with opioid use disorder, ensuring they are connected to a safe alternative to toxic street drugs.”

The BC Centre on Substance Use is looking at including improved addiction training to support prevention and treatment. Dr. Evan Wood, the organization’s executive director, says there is the need for policy changes to end prohibition, which creates the circumstances for the fentanyl market and continues to stigmatize substance use.

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