Five things the B.C. government has promised to address overdose crisis

By The Canadian Press
September 30, 2017 - 7:56am

VANCOUVER — British Columbia Premier John Horgan says his government is taking action to combat the overdose death crisis, with funding from a $322-million investment announced in a recent budget update. Here are five steps:

— B.C. residents who use opioids or are likely to respond to an overdose will be eligible for free kits of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, available at pharmacies by the end of the year.

— Annual funding to support the work of a team that provides training, education and crisis response to groups that respond to overdoses, including firefighters and ambulance crews.

— Expanded access to opioid addiction treatment that includes rapid-access addiction clinics and specialized substance-use hubs in regions that are most affected.

— New public awareness campaigns in the coming weeks focused on reaching men aged 30 to 60, the group most at risk of overdose.

— Additional funding for the BC Coroners Service to expand its drug-death investigation teams, address an increased workload and for lab testing.

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