SURREY (January 25, 2023) – Increasing concern from experts that medical-grade opioids from government-sanctioned narcotic vending machines are being diverted by some users to youth on the street market, is raising serious questions about the B.C. government’s ability to deal with the unintended consequences of these machines – and so far David Eby’s NDP have been silent on the issue.
“Harm reduction is an important pillar of preventing drug related deaths as we work to address the overdose crisis, but it’s critical that David Eby’s NDP government ensures publicly supplied addictive drugs do not lead to unintended consequences and inadvertently cause harm and right now that’s not happening,” said Mental Health, Addictions and Recovery Shadow Minister Elenore Sturko. “It’s incredibly troubling to learn from people working on the frontlines of this crisis that drugs accessed through government-sanctioned vending machines are being diverted for sale to youth instead on the street – this is every parent’s worst nightmare.”
The MySafe hydromorphone tablet vending machines are meant to provide people with addiction access to a safer drug alternative. However experts in the recovery field are raising new concerns that youth are now getting their hands on the product coming out of the machines.
“There needs to be oversight so that whenever any addictive drugs that are being publicly funded and supplied, there are also adequate safety measures in place to make sure they’re going to the right people,” added Sturko. “Just days before B.C. is set to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of drugs, it’s imperative measures the government has in place to ensure the safer supply of addictive drugs has no gaps for these still harmful substances to fall into the wrong hands, especially when it comes to youth. Premier David Eby needs to address this problem immediately.”