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Political will urgently needed as unregulated drug deaths continue to rise in B.C.

May 18, 2023
   2 min read
Array

For immediate release

May 18, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C – Today, the BC Coroners Service reported 206 suspected unregulated drug deaths in April. Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement:

“Our province remains entrenched in an ongoing health emergency that continues to claim the lives of British Columbians. The magnitude of this crisis is profound, causing immense loss and devastation for families and communities.

“Seven people are dying every day – an increase over previous months. Despite political narratives, people are continuing to die from unregulated toxic drugs and a lack of concrete actions to prevent these deaths. 

“Political parties should be focused on the evidence-based solutions to this tragedy, which include safe supply, safe consumption sites, and access to voluntary mental health care and addictions treatment. 

“People are using drugs in public places because it’s safer than back alleys or private residences. That is a clear indication that B.C. needs more safe consumption sites, where people can also access trauma-informed supports and connection with others. To achieve this, we need political will.

“Only 1% of people who use drugs have access to a true safe supply. This is a failure of government, one that is quite literally killing hundreds of people per month.

“We need to look at this health emergency in the larger context of B.C. ‘s growing inequality crisis and erosion of public services. Decades of budget cuts and mismanagement have left our social safety net in a precarious state. Despite being in power for more than six years, the BC NDP government has failed to turn this around, leaving many British Columbians feeling abandoned.”

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Media contact
JoJo Beattie
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca

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