Scott Anderson.

BC Conservatives want taxes to pay for addictions treatment program

Interim leader Scott Anderson of Vernon said what’s being done now is not working

B.C.’s Conservative Party interim leader from Vernon is calling for a robust, provincewide addictions treatment program.

Scott Anderson said the program would be paid for by existing taxes.

“Harm reduction as a strategy should be viewed as the first step in a continuum of care that ends with active, abstinence-based recovery,” said Anderson. “The current strategy of harm reduction as an end in itself, with half-hearted attempts to supply “treatment” for addicted people who both want it and are able to wait from 48 hours to two weeks to get help, is simply not working.”

RELATED: Two sons lost to the opioid crisis, a mother calls for change

Anderson endorses the findings of “Strategies to Strengthen Recovery in British Columbia: The Path Forward,” by the BC Centre for Substance Abuse as a common sense approach to the problem. The study focuses on recovery, with abstinence as the end goal.

“Having dealt with addictions in both my family and almost daily as a municipal issue, it came as a real surprise to learn that the vast bulk of the provincial medical resources dedicated to addictions is devoted to harm reduction, with treatment relegated almost to the status of an afterthought, and usually entailing opioid replacement as an end in itself,” said Anderson. “As the study suggests, it’s time for a new path forward.”

Anderson said addictions experts’ belief that passing out free needles, supplying safe injection sites, and encouraging so-called “low barrier” shelters (which allow active drug use) is “nothing more than enabling if these policies are executed in the absence of a more comprehensive and robust recovery-based treatment regime.”

“It’s as if we’re trying to cure cigarette smoking by handing out cigarette holders and ashtrays,” said Anderson.

“We can keep taking the easy — and frankly cheapest — way out by focusing on harm reduction and continue ignoring the actual issue. But there is a better way and in the long run, it’ll save both money and heartbreak for the families involved.”

RELATED: North Okanagan Social Planning Council receives $100,000

The BC Conservative Party supports continuing funding for harm reduction efforts, but only within the context of a comprehensive strategy aimed at full recovery based on abstinence.

“What we’ve been doing isn’t working,” said Anderson. “It’s time to try something different.”

The BC Conservatives propose that funding is drawn from taxes on the sales of tobacco, gambling, alcohol, and a new tax on cannabis. The party suggests engaging the private sector by funding it through a regulated grant system.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New conservation officer in Revelstoke – for now

Zeb Martin has primarliy been hired for monitoring caribou closures

Revelstoke Rod and Gun club supports fishing proposal with conditions

The proposal considers reopening Revelstoke Reach of the Columbia Reach to angling

Jocelyn’s Jottings: A postive take on resolutions

In the last column I wrote I looked back on 2018. This… Continue reading

Growls and Hugs for Jan. 16

Someone or something got your hackles up? Or maybe someone made you… Continue reading

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Jan. 16

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, Jan. 13, 1894 Three feet of snow… Continue reading

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

Caribou herd disappears from Kootenays after last cow relocated

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Most Read