June 23rd, 2017

Immediate action required on opioid crisis

Carfentanil likely found in province

HALIFAX – NDP Leader Gary Burrill is worried about the growing opioids crisis in Nova Scotia, especially after today’s announcement that carfentanil has likely been found in the province.

“During the election, Stephen McNeil committed to creating an action plan to address the opioids crisis. This is work that should have been done years ago, but there has been a lack of investment by the Liberals in mental health and addictions services,” said Burrill.

On June 8, Mainline and Direction 180 organized a conference called “The Tidal Wave of our Overdose Crisis.” No decision-makers from the Health Authority attended the important discussion organized by front-line service providers. A representative from the NDP Caucus was in attendance.

Documents received by the NSNDP Caucus through Freedom of Information show that the collection and monitoring of addictions data mandated by the province’s 2012 Mental Health and Addictions Strategy was scheduled to be in place by September 2016, but as of March 2017, work on this priority has not yet started

“We need to see training, education, and a harm-reduction approach to dealing with the opioid crisis. With the news of carfentanil hitting our streets, the need for action is even more urgent,” said Burrill. “We needed a plan to deal with this yesterday.”
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