January 22nd, 2019
Canadian Institute of Health Research's Opioid Crisis Knowledge Synthesis Workshop
Safe supply means providing people with safe, regulated drugs that provide the euphoria people seek ...
For Media Release: National Drug User Group Sheds Light on “Safe Supply”
The Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs has released a fact sheet about the urgent national need for a “safe supply” of opioid and stimulant drugs and a systemic response to the overdose epidemic from all three levels of Canadian government.
“The majority of people aren't dying from a safe secure pharmaceutical source of their substance of choice. They are dying from the alternative which is accessing from a tainted illicit black Market.", says Shanell Twan, CAPUD Board member from Edmonton, Alberta.
“Canada’s drug supply is contaminated, and we’re losing ten people a day to a preventable cause of death.” says CAPUD Executive Director Jordan Westfall. “This epidemic is systemic in nature, and it requires a systemic response. Providing anybody at risk of overdose with safe regulated drugs to undercut a toxic drug supply”.
The fact sheet differentiates safe supply from existing Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) like methadone, suboxone, and Slow Release Oral Morphine (SROM). “Similar to how the government regulates alcohol, ensuring a safe, regulated product, the same logic is needed to fight the overdose epidemic.”, says Westfall, “nobody worries that their next sip of beer could kill them instantly. We all deserve this basic level of safety.”
“Our country spans far and wide, with only six access points to medical grade opioids. When Canada is serious about ending this overdose epidemic, we will see as many access points as there have been deaths. No one needs to die when we already have the remedy, stigma and fear replace the opportunity for us to provide life.” says CAPUD treasurer Natasha Touesnard of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Its been a century since the prohibition of what we now call illegal and illicit substances. In that time we have seen more violence and senseless deaths in the name of the war on drugs than at any time in our history” says Vancouver’s David Mendes, CAPUD’s National program coordinator.” It’s a war rooted in racism, fear, intolerance and greed and If we can educate the country on the facts hopefully the Canadian people will open their minds and mouths and start showing support for programs that can actually help the people dying.”
The document is available at capud.ca/safesupply or at capud.ca/resources
Natasha Tousenard, Halifax, Nova Scotia- 902-223-9151
Shanell Twan, Edmonton, Alberta- 587-982-2430
David Mendes, Vancouver, BC - 778-991-8490
Alexandra de Kiewit, Montreal, Quebec -514-476-9488
Jordan Westfall, Vancouver, BC- 778-227-9914