Ending the overdose crisis. Beyond COVID-19
Canada is in a national public health crisis. A toxic illegal drug supply has killed over 14,000 people since 2016 and our life expectancy has stopped rising for the first time in over four decades. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed that people engaged in substance use are in a vulnerable position, and has reduced the capacity of governments to provide life-saving supports during times of global crisis. COVID-19 has disrupted illegal drug markets making them more dangerous than ever. The requirement to physical distance to prevent transmission of the coronavirus has increased the risk of overdose for people who use drugs as more people are using alone in their rooms.
Within this context, pressure is mounting for significant policy change to better protect the health of people who use drugs in Canada. British Columbia’s provincial health officer and municipal counterparts in major cities like Vancouver and Toronto have already called for the decriminalization of drugs to stem the tide of fatal drug poisonings. Access to a safer pharmaceutical supply of opioids and stimulants is b...read more
Your gift will support the development of an innovative qualitative research project to focus discussion on specific models of regulating four classes of currently illegal drugs: opioids, stimulants, sedatives, and psychedelics. Your gift will also foster consultation with different stakeholders to develop public engagement and knowledge translation tools that will help members of the public understand some of the regulatory choices we can make about drugs, such as who, where, and what needs to be done to access them, and the outcomes of different regulatory decisions. In the process, we are hearing the thoughts and preferences of different stakeholders—from medical professionals to consumers—on how these questions should be answered.
Most importantly, we share what we learn with governments to encourage them to consider evidence-based models for regulation based on what the public demands and drug policies grounded in evidence and public health principles.
The Regulation Project is an opportunity to move the conversation in Canada towards pragmatic, evidence-based solutions and move one step closer to better protecting and improving the lives of Canadians.