Clark announces funding boost to overdose crisis at UBCM convention

Photo Credit: UBCM Twitter

VICTORIA, B.C. – Christy Clark announced today that the BC Government is giving $10 million to the fight against the overdose crisis as well as the newly formed Task Force.

“Too many families have lost someone they love to addiction or overdose,” Premier Clark said. “We’re fortunate to be home to some of Canada’s leading addiction and recovery experts doing incredible work. This funding will help them continue to identify and develop leading and innovative practices, and prevent more families from enduring the worst possible news.”

$5 million will be going to the establishment of the new British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU).

The BCCSU will establish procedures for the province’s addiction treatment system and link together health authorities, academic institutions, care providers and service agencies.

“B.C. is at the forefront in efforts to tackle the overdose crisis faced by jurisdictions across North America. We know we need to take action on many fronts, from public awareness and education, to treatment and harm reduction, to public safety and policing,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Putting in place the best evidence-based treatment to help people recover from substance-use issues is, of course, integral to addressing the problem, and the B.C. Centre on Substance Use will play a crucial role.”

One of the first tasks for the BCCSU is to come up with a provincial guideline for the treatment of opioid addiction this fall.

$5 million more will be given to additional areas identified by the task force, including issuing naloxone and naloxone training to police and RCMP for administering to the public in the event of overdose and for officer safety in case of accidental exposure.