Calling the opioid epidemic a “national public health crisis that is devastating individuals, families and communities across the country,” the federal government announced $72 million in emergency funding to tackle the opioid crisis in BC.
The announcement comes after the signing of a bilateral agreement under the Government of Canada’s new Emergency Treatment Fund, between federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and BC Addictions Minister Judy Darcy.
“I am pleased that we have signed this agreement with the Government of British Columbia to help accelerate access to treatment services,” said Taylor. “With the Emergency Treatment Fund, our Government is helping to ensure that innovative and comprehensive treatment options are available for Canadians who want and need them.”
The agreement recognizes the investment of more than $71.7 million— $33.98 million from the Government of Canada, in addition to the province of British Columbia’s contribution of $37.76 million.
BC’s contribution is included in the $322 million multi-year investment and will be used to improve treatment and care, while also contributing to improved health and social outcomes for people living with opioid use disorders.
The federal government’s contribution will be used to improve treatment and care, and contribute to improved health and social outcomes for people living with opioid use disorders.
“In British Columbia, we are escalating our response to this crisis every single day,” said Darcy. “Today’s agreement with the federal government will help to save lives as we continue to work together to combat the overdose crisis.”
The funding has been designated to enhance or increase access to quality treatment services for substance use disorder, which includes investments in:
- Youth services provided by Foundry, which offers young people ages 12-24 health and wellness resources, services and supports;
- Expanding injectable opioid agonist treatment, a treatment for people with severe opioid use disorder;
- Supporting treatment beds;
- Investing in ‘hope’ initiatives, designed to improve local-level capacity to connect individuals with the treatment options appropriate to their unique needs;
- Developing strategies to enhance and improve treatment services; and
- Enhancing the treatment services provided by all health authorities, and investing in supportive recovery.