Safe consumption forefront of countering the overdose crisis, prime minister says

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier David Eby are working together to combat the drug poisoning epidemic. During a Friday announcement in Richmond, Trudeau said both governments are "anchoring ourselves in science and data, making sure issues of harm reduction and safe consumption are put to the forefront." The pair of government leaders agreed addiction is a health issue and will continue to support those looking to turn their lives around.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he and new British Columbia Premier David Eby conferred about ways to counter the “horrific” drug poisoning epidemic.

Trudeau told a crowd in Richmond, B.C., where he and Eby spoke about investments in child care, that they are working with provincial governments to ensure science and data are used to counter the epidemic.

The B.C. Coroners Service says more than 1,800 people died of illicit drug overdoses in the first 10 months of this year, while almost 10,700 have died since the province declared a health emergency in April 2016.

Trudeau called the Opposition Conservative leader’s recent video “incredibly ignorant,” referring to Pierre Poilievre’s claim that a safe supply of drugs for addicts is a failed experiment.

Eby says the province has an important partnership with the federal government in trying to separate people from those who are selling toxic drugs.

The premier says a new model of care that B.C. announced last week will allow someone recovering from an overdose to go immediately from the emergency room to detox and on to treatment.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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