B.C. ministry moves to stem high rate of overdose deaths by recent inmates

By Canadian Press/CKPGToday
January 30, 2019 - 10:51am Updated: February 1, 2019 - 5:39pm

VANCOUVER, B.C. - British Columbia is launching a project aimed at reducing the number of overdose deaths by inmates recently released from correctional facilities.

A coroner's death review panel last year found about two-thirds B.C. residents who died of an illegal drug overdose over a 19-month period had recent contact with the criminal justice system.

The panel said that between January 2016 and the end of July 2017, 333 people died within their first month of release from a correctional facility.

The Health Ministry says in a news release that five new community transition teams have been set up in Surrey, Prince George, Kamloops, Nanaimo, and Port Coquitlam to help people with opioid use disorders get treatment.

The teams consist of a social worker and a peer who has used drugs and may also been incarcerated to work with a person who's been released to help provide needed support.

Lynne Pelletier, with B.C. Mental Health and Substance Use Services, says people in the justice system are some of society's most vulnerable, yet they are the hardest to reach in the current overdose emergency.

(The Canadian Press)

Story on February 1, 2019 

 

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