Canada is in the midst of an unprecedented overdose crisis. In the first 8 months of 2020 alone, overdoses killed nearly 1,100 people in BC—a number higher than all fatal drug overdoses recorded in the Province in 2019. Without an accessible, safe supply of drugs, these deaths will only continue to mount. A 2016 poll conducted by the Inner Change Foundation found that 63% of respondents in BC would consider exploring alternate non-criminalization approaches to drug regulation if they had more information about the risks and benefits.
In March 2020, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, BC issued clinical guidance on safe supply. Though this step has been essential, access remains barriered and there is an urgent need for the leadership of people who use drugs in this process. There is now an opportunity to create a roadmap for transitioning away from a criminal prohibition and toward a regulatory model focused on health and human rights. Pivot is working in coalition with national and local drug policy groups to develop a plan for the legal regulation of drugs in Canada.