MLA Jane Thornthwaite, BC Liberal Mental Health and Addictions Critic, is demanding John Horgan and the NDP step up and invest in recovery treatment for British Columbians.
“The NDP has been in government for over two years and we have seen little action to increase the number of publicly funded recovery beds. This is disappointing, as British Columbians are forced to watch Canadians in other provinces access treatment beds, most notably the 4,000 new treatment beds recently announced in Alberta,” said Thornthwaite. “Harm reduction approaches like overdose prevention sites and greater distribution of naloxone kits are saving lives, but those alone are not enough to break the cycle of addiction.”
Although British Columbia has seen a slight reduction in overdose deaths, the number of overdoses overall is not decreasing.
“We need to start looking at different solutions. British Columbians are seeing $80 million worth of investment in recovery beds by neighbouring governments while the NDP here fails to act,” added Thornthwaite. “The NDP is focusing almost exclusively on harm reduction, which is only part of the solution. Meanwhile, the government is ignoring the need for a full spectrum of care while this crisis continues to claim lives every day.”
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps commented recently on the need for more recovery and treatment options, noting that “there are fundamentally not enough treatment beds”.
Many British Columbians are struggling with substance use and need options, not simply to stabilise but also to get well again. There are recovery beds available across the province but John Horgan and the NDP refuse to fund them, leaving beds empty throughout B.C. month after month, says Thornthwaite.
“The NDP’s solution is to fund an additional five dollars a day per client. Still, that leaves countless British Columbians who are struggling with addiction out in the cold with no new funding for treatment beds,” she said. “People in this province deserve action from John Horgan to help end the cycle of addiction.”