For Immediate Release
August 17, 2017
Vancouver, BC – The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has released recommendations from a meeting of 130 experts on solutions to the overdose crisis. Among the recommendations include expanding BC’s prescription heroin program, reforming punitive and harmful drug laws, and addressing the stigma faced by people who use drugs.
Pivot Legal Society was among the experts brought together at the Overdose Action Exchange meeting in June 2017 in Vancouver. The recommendations support many of the initiatives that Pivot has been fighting for, including prescription heroin programs and expanded supervised consumption services.
“We are in a time where bold leadership and action is needed at all levels of government if we are going to address the overdose crisis,” said Katrina Pacey, executive director of Pivot Legal Society, who attended the meeting on behalf of Pivot.
“We support each and every recommendation put forward by the BC Centre for Disease Control, which has carefully assessed the public health evidence and the perspectives of people who use drugs, and put forward a list of pragmatic and effective solutions.”
Today, experts at the BCCDC outlined a clear and holistic approach to addressing the illicit drug overdose crisis in Canada. The report is informed by the invaluable input of physicians, public health experts, front line workers, and community members dealing with addiction, stigma, and discrimination on a daily basis. This report provides a strong and clear path for BC’s new government to follow in the context of a public health emergency that shows no sign of abating.
We urge provincial politicians to act on, and prioritize, these recommendations upon returning to the Legislature in September.
Peter Kim, Communications & Digital Engagement Manager
Pivot Legal Society
– 30 –
About Pivot Legal Society
Pivot Legal Society is a leading Canadian human rights organization that uses the law to address the root causes of poverty and social exclusion in Canada. Pivot’s award-winning work includes challenging laws and policies that force people to the margins of society and keep them there. Since 2002 Pivot has won major victories for sex workers’ rights, police accountability, affordable housing, and health and drug policy.