Drug-policy advocates plan parade through downtown Vancouver as united call for "safe supply"

Travis Lupick, The Straight, April 9, 2019

The theme for this year’s Vancouver event is “safe supply”.

Leslie McBain is a B.C. member of Moms Stop the Harm, a national group of parents who advocate for drug-policy reform. She explained that a regulated supply of pharmaceutical opioids will spare people who use drugs from the deadly risks of unknown substances purchased on the street.

“People who are addicted to opioids, people who are dependent, and recreational users, have no way of knowing what they are getting,” McBain told the Straight. “It’s a crap shoot for everybody. People do not have access to the harm-reduction services that they need to not die from a toxic supply.”

Last year, 87 percent of illicit-drug overdose deaths in B.C. involved the dangerous synthetic-opioid fentanyl, according to the province's coroners service. That’s up from just 15 percent five years earlier, in 2013.

“We need to stop these deaths,” McBain said. “The only way we are going to make an impact on how many people are dying is by offering a safe supply of drugs.”

Drug-policy advocates plan parade through downtown Vancouver as united call for "safe supply"