Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for 'complicated' overdose issue

VANCOUVER — Canada’s governor general has visited an overdose prevention site in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside after meeting with first responders on the front lines of substance-use issues fuelled by the opioid fentanyl.

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as various officials including the mayor, British Columbia’s lieutenant-governor and the chief medical health officer for the Vancouver Coastal Health authority.

She then walked a few blocks with them to the Molson Overdose Prevention Site, where people use their own drugs and are provided with safe injection supplies.

Payette says she’s learned that the overdose issue is complicated and will require a co-ordinated response that includes health and mental-health services in order to find solutions and “diminish hardship.”

She says that before becoming governor general she was on the board of Drug Free Kids Canada, a non-profit organization helping parents prevent and deal with youth addiction.

There are about 30 overdose prevention sites in B.C., home to North America’s first supervised injection site.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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