Coalition of addiction advocates urge federal government to decriminalize opioids
Omar Mosleh
The Star Edmonton
October 3rd, 2018

EDMONTON--Advocacy groups for drug users assembled in Edmonton this week are urging the federal government to immediately move toward decriminalization of all drugs if they want to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths happening nationwide.

And the pending legalization of cannabis provides a "glimmer of hope" that Ottawa is moving toward a more sensible drug policy, experts say.

At the Stimulus Conference, a three-day event in Edmonton that brings together drug policy experts, social workers, physicians, front-line workers, and people with lived experience, 93 organizations released a statement calling on the provincial and federal governments to immediately take three steps to intervene in Canada?s opioid overdose crisis.

The coalition is calling for the government to expand legal access to safe drugs for people with substance use disorder, decriminalize possession of all drugs for personal use, and expand the availability of harm reduction services.

In the second half of 2018, 355 Albertans died from apparent accidental opioid overdoses, an average of two per day according to numbers released by Alberta Health.
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