The Canadian Mental Health Association is fighting to have opioid use addressed as a health issue, not a criminal one.
According to a national policy paper, decriminalizing opiates is essential to fighting the crisis.
The association’s Fardous Hosseiny says decriminalization should be and is an evidence based process.
“I think that the evidence show that we need to take bold action and we know that the drug hasn’t worked, so criminalization really stigmatizes people and creates barriers for them and accessing treatment and accessing help when they need it.” stated Hosseiny.
Hosseiny says the federal government has already taken some steps to address opioid usage, one of them implementing supervised injection sites.