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Opposition calls for government step up on the Fentanyl Crisis — 3 Comments

  1. As a professional academic researcher in mental health and addiction and from direct experience as a former advisor to a large government organization that oversees mental health and addiction policy, I can say with near certainty that both the opposition and the Clark government will ultimately fail at making a difference on this file if they continue this tack.

    By forcing measures by employing types of prohibition strategies, all that will be accomplished in the square root of zero. Prohibition does nothing to quell demand. And since demand is high for opiate drugs, the problem will not be solved by aiming at the supply. This has been witnessed time and time again with other drugs (including alcohol) and will ultimately end in failure, wasted money and resources, and further tragedy and frustration. Fact is, even if you could make fentanyl completely disappear (which you can’t because the moral authority assuming medical establishment would furiously push back) you’d just be creating another epidemic with another drug. And fentanyl is not even the most potent opiate anymore on the streets, there are much worse in terms of potency (believe it or not).

    The way this article reads reminds me of every strategy I’ve worked on in mental health and addiction in government. It reads like a political issue that can be used to generate gains for a particular party and not a well thought out strategy to actually promote change. Or it could also just be a misunderstanding of the problem. I hope it’s just a misunderstanding, but its probably not. This very thing kind of thing happened in Alberta when the NDP took power. Because of public pressure, the NDP immediately demanded a mental health review which ultimately reviewed nothing and contributed little to solving any problems. The previous strategy in Alberta said the same things as the new one and both have yet to directly yield any positive results. (It still doesn’t) But the NDP had to do it because if they didn’t they’d look like the were doing nothing, and nothing doesn’t win votes. So the actions taken were ineffective at solving the problem they were aiming at, but very effective in terms of political maneuvering.

    If you want to help people with addiction, then you have to focus on why the demand is present. Why is it that people would want to do these drugs in the first place? Once this is well established and understood, then effective measures can be put into place. But if you research this professionally, you will be quick to find that the solutions to this issue are not found in what government can do about it.