Federal government to boost treatment options for drug users: health minister
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:48PM EST
CALGARY -- Ottawa is planning to boost treatment options for drug users as it tries to deal with what Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is calling a national public health crisis.
Petitpas Taylor outlined some of the steps the federal government aims to take during a conference in Calgary of the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
She said the government plans to support pilot projects that would provide safer opioid alternatives at supervised consumption sites.
Ottawa also aims to hold consultations on allowing different drugs, such as heroin, to be administered outside of hospital settings.
She said the government intends to allow drug-checking services at all authorized supervised consumption sites that would like to offer that service.
Petitpas Taylor added that she wants to work with provinces and territories to find a better way to establish temporary overdose prevention sites if there's an urgent need.
"This is an emergency and ... sometimes the short-term measures need to be taken to address the reality on the ground," she said in her speech Wednesday.
Petitpas Taylor said 3,000 people could die this year as a result of the opioid crisis.