The B.C. government will increase research into substance abuse. The photo shows a pair of hands of a table. The right hand holds a hypodermic needle and a small book of matches. The left hand holds a small spoon with white power in it. The photo is somewhat shadow-like.

The B.C. government will increase research into substance abuse.
Photo Credit: CBC

BC increases funding in battle against substance abuse

The British Columbia government is upping the ante in its fight against substance abuse and addictions.

Health Minister Terry Lake says the province will invest $3-million in addictions research and treatment, including funding for testing Vivitrol, a drug that can block the effects of heroin and alcohol.

In addition, doctors, nurse practitioners and addictions-care providers will receive more money for training on how to better treat patients suffering from substance abuse.

Earlier this year, Vancouver authorities expressed concern over a dramatic rise in police calls involving people with severe mental issues or substance abuse.

The province then introduced a new stabilization unit at a Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital to treat people with addictions or severe mental illnesses.

Last year, a 15-year-study of drug use in Vancouver’s tenderloin Downtown Eastside district concluded that that harm reduction–not a war on drugs–had reduced illicit drug use and improved public safety in the area.

The report by the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS found that from 1996 to 2011, fewer people were using drugs. It also said that of those who were, fewer were injecting drugs.

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