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

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read