BC Addiction Ministry: Implement Coroner's Recommendations Now!

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In response to the drug toxicity emergency in British Columbia, which has claimed the lives of over 5,500 people since 2016, the BC Coroner recommended that the government develop provincial regulation to oversee residential addiction facilities. The government has not implemented the Coroner's recommendations. 

Because of the lack of regulation, some residential addiction treatment centres in BC have no medical staff, some refuse to prescribe proven medications like Opioid Agonist Therapy, patients are often not provided with a full menu of treatment options, most facilities are faith-based, most do not have Indigenous programming, there is no standard for the qualifications of staff and patients are ultimately denied ongoing care if they test positive for non-prescribed drugs.

A 2018 Coroner's Death Review Panel (page 30-33) and a 2017 Coroner's Death Inquest (page 9-13) found that there is a lack of program standards for addiction treatment centres in BC and outcomes are lacking, unknown or not monitored. There is inconsistent provision of evidence-based treatment, and health care providers report that they are unable to determine which programs and facilities deliver evidence-based treatment and care.

This is consistent with what a CBC investigation found in 2016, as well as an independent investigation in 2020.

The BC Coroner stated in their 2018 report that addiction treatment should be held to the same level of provincial regulation and standards that all other chronic disease treatment is required to meet.

The Coroner recommended  (page 30-33) that by September 2019 the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions develop provincial regulations for public and private addiction treatment facilities, set standards for provision of evidence-based treatment and require that treatment centres be systematically evaluated and monitored to ensure compliance. 

Because of the government's failure to implement the Coroner’s recommendations British Columbians are unable to access high quality evidence-based residential health care for substance use problems. This puts many people at high risk of drug toxicity death.

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE this petition urging the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions, to implement the BC Coroner's recommendations.

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BC Coroner’s Service Death Review Panel: A Review of Illicit Drug Overdoses. Report to the Chief Coroner of British Columbia. April 5, 2018. P. 2–3, 21, 30–33: https://tinyurl.com/y4uqfdbd

Verdict at Coroner’s Inquest. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Coroner’s Service, Province of British Columbia. File No: 2016: 1027: 0004, p.9–13: https://tinyurl.com/yy7ozdgy

"BC Addiction Ministry Ignored Coroner’s Recommendations- Government Giving $52 Million to Poorly Regulated Addiction Treatment Centres", Medium.com, Wood, Byron, August 21, 2020: https://tinyurl.com/y5dgwl2n