Ask the candidates: What needs to happen to address drug crisis?

Colleen Ross is the BC NDP candidate in the Boundary-Similkameen riding

  • Apr. 28, 2017 2:00 p.m.
Colleen Ross is the BC NDP party candidate for the Boundary Similkameen riding.

Colleen Ross is the BC NDP party candidate for the Boundary Similkameen riding.

We will establish a province-wide strategy to ensure the widest possible availability to Naloxone kits, with people trained to use them. We will provide more support for police/RCMP so that the supply chain is disrupted and perpetrators (dealers) are sent to trial and convicted.

Increase penalties for drug dealers. Increase the support for first responders, including counselling for those suffering from PTSD and other work -related stress for responders. Transforming our mental health system means we need to address the addictions that are often associated with mental health as 60 per cent of people with addictions also suffer from mental health challenges.

Early detection, intervention and treatment would be ensured under our proposed Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. A Ministry that is appropriately resourced instead of funding that only springs up in times of crisis. We will ensure that a long term plan is in place so prevention activities and treatment can be secured, is effective, with appropriate follow up and support. While there should be a focus on community-based support, there is a small but important segment of our population that will only improve through intensive residential-based care and treatment. Many have been left to fend for themselves. We are committed to reopening those facilities that have been closed to deal with this growing tragedy in B.C. Help will be there when people need it!

Editor’s note: In the April 28 edition of the Penticton Western News, the Green Party incorrectly appeared beside the answer that was given by NDP candidate Colleen Ross. The Western News apologizes for the error and will re-run the answer she gave in the next issue.

Penticton Western News