One-in-five in BC knew someone who died from poisoned drug supply: survey | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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One-in-five in BC knew someone who died from poisoned drug supply: survey

Most British Columbians would like to see a safe supply of drugs for opioid users, according to a recent survey.

The Research Co. survey found a majority of BC residents agree a safe supply should be available by prescription, which holds true no matter which political party they vote for.

“More than half of British Columbians who voted for the BC Liberals in 2020 (55%) agree with safe supply programs,” Research Co. president Mario Canseco said in a media release. “The level of support is higher among those who cast ballots for the BC New Democratic Party (68%) or the BC Green Party (73%) in the last provincial election.”

The online study was conducted last month among 800 participants to gauge how people in the province have been affected by opioid use and how they feel governments have responded to the ongoing crisis.

More than half say the federal government is doing a poor job at coming up with solutions for the use of opioid drugs, according to the poll. More than a third are also dissatisfied with provincial and local governments.

Meanwhile, one fifth of British Columbians personally know someone who has died using prescription or non-prescription opioids.

READ MORE: Eby laments B.C.'s 'troubling' overdose numbers, as toxic drugs claim 206 more lives

A total 814 people died from January to April as a result of BC's toxic drug crisis, according to the BC Coroners Service. Opioids were detected in 86% of those deaths.

"This drug poisoning crisis is the direct result of an unregulated drug market," Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said at a press conference last month. "Members of our communities are dying because non-prescribed, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is poisoning them on an unprecedented scale."

Most British Columbians surveyed agreed they would like to see more addictions treatment services in the province, with 81% in agreement there should be more spaces for drug rehabilitation.

The province is aiming to increase the availability of addictions treatment, Premeir David Eby has said.

"Our government is doing everything we can to keep people alive so that they can get into treatment," he said in a press conference.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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