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Canada, British Columbia decriminalize hard drugs: “Opioid overdose deaths”

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“There situation It has never been worse.” Pro-Minister Caroline Bennett of a Canadian province British Columbia Outlines an alarming social picture, where deaths are high Opioids With more than 10,000 deaths since the declaration of a public emergency in 2016, it has reached unprecedented levels. And now deal with one thing Widespread social and health crisisThe province has decided Decriminalize Small amount of possession cocaine, heroin, Fentanyl and other hard drugs, in a three-year pilot program.

Instead of having to deal with it In prison Or pay Penalty, will provide information on how to access addiction treatment programs for adults who possess up to 2.5 grams of these substances in the province. The police also do not arrest them Medicineswhen Drug distributor And smugglers will continue Sued Criminally. “The consequences of this public health crisis have devastated communities British Colombia He was born Canada“, he added Bennett. When the action was announced last MayThe minister had suggested the possibility of expansion to other provinces.

In British Columbia, five million people, about six die every day from drugs. Nationwide, the number of victims since 2016 has crossed 30,000. Officers They hope that a change in policy will remove the stigma surrounding use Medicines It deters people search Help Promotes the concept of addiction A health problem.

The Canada It spent over C$800 million (US$600 million) to stem the crisis Opioids, And Bennett Recent years have highlighted successes such as more than 42,000 overdoses avoided and more than 209,000 people referred to health services. But he “recognized that access as well Maintenance There’s still a gap” that still works. There British Columbia It is the second largest jurisdiction of all North America to exonerate Medicines HeavyAfter the American stateOregon In November 2020. The latter saw a dramatic decline ArrestsBut few (less than 1%) accepted offers to help overcome addiction.

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