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CHARBONNEAU – How to reduce drug overdose deaths

THERE’S NO EASY way to reduce drug overdose deaths but a simple first step is to provide users with safe opioids. The hard part will take time.

The grim toll of deaths – of community leaders and ordinary citizens – marches on relentlessly. In just eight months of 2017, more British Columbians died of drug overdoses than the whole year before.

Lots of things don’t work. Still, politicians persist in the tried and unproven. B.C. Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth echoed concerns that rose in meetings with federal and provincial public safety ministers:

“We strongly believe that if you’re dealing fentanyl, you’re dealing death, and you should be facing much more severe penalties such as manslaughter charges,” Farnworth said (Globe and Mail, October 19, 2017.)

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David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5151 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on CHARBONNEAU – How to reduce drug overdose deaths

  1. Ken McClelland // October 26, 2017 at 7:41 AM // Reply

    One thing I seldom if ever see in conversations about harm-reduction sites, safe-injection sites, whatever you choose to call them, is any talk about actually getting addicted people off drugs, or at least onto a prescriptive regimen that allows them to be functioning members of society. Simply providing safe drugs to addicts so they don’t kill themselves using the crap that street-level dealers dispense should be viewed as a first step, not the end game. All that does is enable addiction without actually helping them to become healthy again. There needs to be a harm-reduction strategy that is more than just free drugs. Yes, it will cost money, but frankly, we’re spending the money anyway, and the societal cost is a large but intangible amount as well. If we are going to fund medical-grade opioids, we should go all-in and fund services to help these folks break free of their addictions as well, rather than just write them off and leave them to their own devices. And by the way, I agree with Mike Farnworth’s assessment that those dealing Fentanyl and its derivatives should be charged, convicted and sentenced as the murdering scum they are.

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