August 31st, 2022
NDP statement on International Overdose Awareness Day
NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction Critic Gord Johns made the following statement:
“Today, on International Overdose Awareness Day, we remember all those who’ve been lost or harmed by overdoses, and we recommit to fighting the toxic drug crisis. Every day families across the country are forced to bury their loved ones because of overdoses - it’s devastating.
30,000 Canadians have already died due to the toxic drug crisis since 2016, and last year there was an alarming 96 per cent increase in drug-related deaths. But, this public health crisis is not about numbers; it's about real lives that have been lost and are at risk. We must prevent more losses and protect the lives of our loved ones.
Instead of acting, the Liberals have stood by while the crisis worsened for seven years. Rather than fighting the toxic drug crisis on the national scale needed, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have taken a patchwork approach to address this crisis by decriminalizing personal possession in British Columbia and leaving people outside the province to struggle alone.
There are real solutions available that could be taken to stop these preventable deaths. New Democrats continue to call on the Liberals to introduce a national health-based strategy for fighting the toxic drug emergency. We need education, prevention, a safer supply, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services. Sadly, the Liberals have continued to play politics while the toxic drug crisis takes lives.
Today, New Democrats are thinking of all those harmed by overdose, including those who lost their lives to it or lost loved ones. We stand with you and will not stop fighting for a better national comprehensive response to stop the harm.”