The federal government has announced $15 million in new funding to be used for research into increasing access to drug addiction treatment and overall education about B.C.’s opioid crisis.
“This crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health issues in Canada’s recent history, and organizations on the ground can help us turn the tide of it,” Petitpas Taylor said in a news release.
Roughly $9.6 million will be used for seven projects focused on spreading information on effective treatment options, while $1.3 million will go to four initiatives directed at reducing the risk of HIV and hepatitis C among people who share drug use equipment.
The last $4.4 million will support four projects creating effective treatment for Indigenous people – one of the populations hardest hit by illicit drug overdoses.
On Tuesday, the minister announced $1.7 million for a pilot project at the University of Victoria that will evaluate equipment that could potentially be more effective in testing for fentanyl than the test strips being used at overdose prevention sites.
The announcement is part of an agreement between the federal and B.C. governments that gives access to $71.1 million for treatment options to curb the 1,500 overdose deaths happening each year on average.