Submitted by Team Jean
End the opioid crisis
258 people died in Vancouver from the opioid crisis between Jan and June 30, 2017. 88% more people died from overdose deaths in BC in 2017 than in a comparable period in 2016.1
We must stop the fentanyl crisis immediately, because too many people are dying.
Work with user groups and others to campaign at all levels of government for decriminalization, clean, safe drugs and treatment on demand.
There are many systemic factors that create the conditions for addictions to illegal drugs: racism, colonization, gender violence, foster care, poverty, homelessness. All levels of government need to address these issues immediately. In the meantime, the City should work with user groups to lobby fiercely for the following measures:
Drug laws should be altered to follow the Portugal model where a combination of harm reduction, public investment in treatment and prevention and decriminalization of minor offenses has made a significant impact. 2
Culturally appropriate programs for drug treatment should be made available on demand.
People who use drugs should have access to clean and free drugs so they don’t have to depend on the black market for extra money (by selling drugs, bodies, medications, belongings, binning etc).
But there are also things that the city can do by itself:
Scrapping bylaws that criminalize people who use drugs: vending and jay walking bylaws
Stop harassing homeless people who have to sleep on the street; stop making them pack up their things every day even when its raining;
Stop harassing tent cities and provide them with garbage pick up, porta potties, clean water until housing is available for all
Fund community groups who support harm reduction
Put oxygen tanks in community centres (to help revive people who overdose)
Provide clinic space for assisted heroin treatment
Work with other levels of government to build an Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Centre in the DTES