Will B.C. try to decriminalize drug users? - InfoNews

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Will B.C. try to decriminalize drug users?

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April 23, 2019 - 11:36 AM

KELOWNA - One of the province's top doctors is expected to release an important report tomorrow and it appears to call for decriminalizing drug users. 

A media invitation to the B.C. Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's report, which will be released tomorrow, reveals only the title: Stopping the Harm: Decriminalization of People Who Use Drugs in B.C.

The province has been ground zero for the opioid overdose crisis now spreading across North America, largely due to new potent drugs like fentanyl.The B.C. Coroner’s Service said 1,489 people died of overdose in B.C. in 2018 and roughly 3,500 people have died since 2012 due to overdoses involving drugs with fentanyl.

Those findings triggered a number of health authorities, including Henry, have talked about changing the way we talk about drug use, and trying to reduce the stigma attached to drug users. They have also talked about the need to decriminalize drug use as a way to save lives from overdoses.

The B.C. Centre on Substance Use recently recommended creating heroin compassion clubs for people addicted to fentanyl.

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