to be severely impacted by the convergence of a long-standing mental health and
addictions crisis and increasingly potent and toxic drug supply, creating a sustained
overdose crisis that will claim about the same number of lives in Vancouver in 2018 as it
did in 2017.
Bold actions need to be taken together with all partners to change the
course of the crisis that has devastated thousands of Vancouverites who have lost family
members and friends. While the City is not mandated to deliver health services, it has a
long standing role in advocating reducing the harms caused by illicit drug use,
recognizing addictions as a public health issue, not a criminal one, and promoting
access to a wide range of treatment options.
All of our residents have the right to thrive to the best of their ability, let alone survive.
Through the Healthy City Strategy, Vancouver is committed to addressing stigma,
providing homes for everyone, supporting jobs and income opportunities to making ends
meet and culturally safe environments for all. Recommendations in this report can be
taken immediately to reduce deaths that are appropriate for the City to initiate, including
the provision of immediate supports to urban Indigenous residents and their families,
expansion of harm reduction, and support for peer responders.
Read the full report: council.vancouver.ca/20181220/documents/spec1.pdf