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

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Kitimat commits itself to the global fight against polio

Mayor Phil Germuth signs a proclamation

$2 million landfill capping complete

The purpose is to minimize potential leaching of contaminants from the site.

Pipeline company urges rejection of many seeking intervener status in jurisdictional hearings

Those seeking to participate include District of Kitimat and Haisla Nation

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

EU divorce deal in peril after two UK Cabinet ministers quit

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Northern California fire death toll at 56; 130 missing

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 to the north of Paradise.

Canfor to buy 70 per cent stake in Swedish Vida Group for $580 million

The privately held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.

Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi’s killing

Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor is recommending the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and carrying out the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Mixing business and family: Trudeau turns to Singapore ancestors to widen trade

Trudeau’s ancestor, Esther Bernard, born Farquhar (1796-1838) was the daughter of Major-General William Farquhar (1774-1839), the first British Resident and Commandant of Singapore.

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Most Read