Kamloops receives overdose prevention funding, support

By Greg Fry
February 1, 2018 - 12:04pm Updated: February 1, 2018 - 4:32pm

KAMLOOPS —The provincial government announced the next step in its response to B.C.'s devastating opioid crisis Thursday.

Eighteen of the hardest hit ommunities in the province — including Kamloops — will receive the support of "on-the-ground community action teams (CAT) and dedicated funding as part of government's escalated response to the overdose crisis."

These communities will receive up to $100,000 in one-time funding from the Overdose Emergency Respononse Centre's Community Action Team Grants. The government says the money will target resources where they are needed most. Other initiatives may include supports such as treatment and housing for people at risk of overdose.

In total, the province will dedicate $3 million in funding — $1.5 million from the OERC Community Action Team Grants and another $1.5 million to all B.C. communities through a Community Crisis Response Grants application process.

Minister of Mental Health and Addications Judy Darcy calls the move a "bold, new approach" as communities continue to lose loved ones to opioid addiction.

"This is a public health emergency and we are treating it that way."

The announcement comes just a day after the BC Coroners Service announced 2017 was the deadliest in provincial history for illicit drug overdose deaths. 1,422 British Columbians lost their lives, including 39 people in Kamloops.

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