There is substantial evidence from a range of jurisdictions which demonstrates that drug prohibition laws and policies, including the use of incarceration, can negatively impact health and social outcomes among persons living with addiction. Here in BC, law enforcement efforts have not resulted in a decrease in overdose deaths.
For example, between 2011 and 2016 police investigations of heroin possession increased 409%. During that same timeframe, fatal overdoses increased 334%. Law enforcement responses are not curtailing the crisis and are causing harm to the people we mean to protect.