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Vancouver starts spending additional tax money it collected to tackle drug-overdose crisis

January 19th, 2017 · 13 Comments

The first round of spending to tackle the drug-overdose crisis adds up to $2 million, mainly to staff an additional medic unit, to create a new community policing station for Strathcona, and to train more city staff in Naloxone use.

The next $1.5 million available is still unallocated, although staff are looking at things like creating supervised drug-consumption sites in some of the Downtown Eastside residential hotels, where most of the overdoses and deaths are occurring. (More on this from social-policy director Mary Clare Zak in my story today.)

The city report will be debated next Tuesday or Wednesday (the latter, if there are speakers from the public who want to address the issue). I’m wondering if the tone will be any different, after the news yesterday that the death count from overdoses reached 914 last year.

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