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How COVID-19 is changing B.C.’s approach to the opioid crisis

Last Updated Apr 6, 2020 at 4:01 am MST

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally holds a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 11, 2011. Health Canada has approved a supervised consumption site in Victoria to allow people to inject illicit drugs in the presence of medical staff. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

In today’s Big Story podcast, pandemics force us into a lot of changes that otherwise might never have been made. Some of those changes are horrible choices between ‘bad’ and ‘worse’. But not every one of them. In an effort to help both drug users and the front-line care workers who support them, British Columbia is changing its drug policy in a way that advocates have long hoped for.

Will this approach spread to the rest of Canada, as provinces move to protect a vulnerable population? Will the results it delivers help modernize our approach to this problem for good? Time will tell, but for now those who have been pushing for progressive solutions say it’s a welcome step taken under horrible circumstances.

GUEST: Justin Ling, writer and reporter (Read Justin’s piece on B.C.’s approach right here)


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