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

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Raise your spirits with the 44th annual Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market

The artsy festive market runs Nov. 16 to 18 at Chilliwack Heritage Park

WATCH: Today, we remember: community members visit Agassiz cenotaph on Remembrance Day

Royal Canadian Legion members, veterans, first responders, residents gather to pay their respects

Hope’s new brewery christened Mountainview Brewing Co.

Co-owners say the brewery, located at the old Hope Machine Shop, will open fall 2019

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Vancouver Island man survived for ‘days’ trapped in smashed truck

Duncan Moffat, 23, found by hunter by the side of the road near Sayward

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

5 to start your day

Letters reveal mental state of Surrey mom charged in daughter’s death, B.C. man wanted for alleged ‘serious domestic assault’ in Alberta and more

Most Read