Task Force to Deal with Reducing Drug Overdoses
Prince George, B.C.- The Province has announced it is setting up a Joint Task Force on Overdose Response in an effort to curb the number of overdoses in BC.
The Task Force will be headed by provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall and Clayton Pecknold, the Director of Police Services. Other members of the task force have yet to be determined, but there will be representation from both the BC Centre of Disease Control and the ministries of Health and Public Safety.
The Task force will provide information on further action the Province can take to prevent and respond to overdoses.
The Province is also calling on the Federal Government to take action on issues which fall under Federal jurisdiction, such as restricting access to pill presses and tableting machines, limiting access to the materials used to make fentanyl escalating charges for the importation and trafficking of Fentanyl and that Canada Border Services have the necessary tools to keep the illicit opioids from entering BC .”An effective collaboration with the federal government could really
have major impact on reducing overdose deaths” says Dr. Kendall “As well, this joint task force integrates the strategies already underway and amplifies our response to this urgent crisis”
The number of overdose deaths in B.C. led Dr. Kendall to declare a public health emergency in April of this year. That declaration sparked the establishment of the take home naloxone program. Naloxone is a safe medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose of an opioid and has been used to reverse more than 700 opioid drug overdoses since the program was launched. Naloxone nasal spray may soon be available in B.C. having been recently approved by Health Canada.