Pubdate: Thu, 09 Feb 2017
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.


The provincial government announced a boost in funding this week for
one of the organizations trying to aid addicts.

Health Minister Terry Lake announced $5 million of extra funding for
the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and an additional $1.9 million
for ongoing operations funding.

It's that last that will be key going forward.

The BCCSU has developed new clinical treatment guidelines for opioid
addicts, to go into effect later this spring. The use of opioids -
heroin and related prescription drugs - has been the gateway for drug
dealers to mix fentanyl and carfentanil into their product. Even tiny
doses of fentanyl can prove fatal, and hundreds of addicts and casual
drug users have died in the last year in B.C.

The BCCSU does the high-level work, academic work that helps support
and train the medical professionals who combat drug addiction on a
daily basis.

The province has also expanded access to naloxone, which can save
people in an overdose, and expanded access to addiction supports.

But, as always, there is more that could be done.

Drug treatment needs to be widely expanded. Naloxone can save lives -
but it does little to get people clear of the tainted heroin that
almost killed them.

As usual with a provincial government in the run-up to an election,
the Liberals are flinging money at multiple targets. Also as usual,
they prefer large, empty structures - bridges and highways - to ones
that will require staff, like hospitals and clinics.

Unfortunately, there's likely no way out of B.C.'s addiction crisis
without spending some money on hiring more doctors, nurses,
counsellors, and other professionals to staff the front lines.

- - M.C.
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MAP posted-by: Matt