Is BC fueling more drug addiction?

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CKNW Mike Smyth Show June 5, 2023

Do BC’s illicit drug policies fuel more addiction?

The BC Government is actually creating demand for addiction that will fuel the drug mortality crisis, says Dr. Julian Somers, Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences, SFU.

Driven by various entrenched “relationships”, the BC government ignores proven solutions and is tripling down on failure with its publicly supplied addictive drugs and decriminalization model. Instead, Somers says we must treat people with mental illness, addictions and homelessness in their home communities to stop migration to other BC cities such as Nanaimo, Vancouver and Prince George.

They don’t just need a place to live that’s concentrated alongside many others who have recently exited the street and are dealing with addiction challenges where recovery is limited. Warehousing them with a PlayStation and a drug consumption site is not the solution. They need to be re-integrated into society in diverse populations within their original home communities, combined with employment training. Securing individual housing units through private landlords is the key.  “Closer to home” was the original promise to house people when large mental health institutions like Riverview were closed decades ago.  In light of recent audits of BC Housing and Atira, Somers also advises that any involved non-profit organizations have “measured” and “standardized” outcomes to see reductions in crime and health emergencies through their provided services. 

Listen to the interview in button below (29-minute mark). Then, demand politicians and health leaders use a proven drug addiction model of recovery-oriented housing that shows both a reduction in crime and medical emergencies.  Send a message here.

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