By Letter to the Editor on October 16, 2020.
Re: “Treating addiction crisis on the front lines” by Stacey Petersen, Kim Turgeon (Oct. 7 Lethbridge Herald)
We agree in principle that “supporting addiction recovery shouldn’t be divisive,” but we have serious concerns about the content of Stacey Petersen and Kim Turgeon’s op-ed.
The article defends the UCP government’s “recovery-oriented approach” but fails to acknowledge that this approach has entailed a concerted attack on harm-reduction initiatives in Alberta. After halting the opening of a number of mobile supervised consumption sites, the UCP scrapped a virtual overdose response program and closed down the Lethbridge SCS, the busiest in Canada. This is especially concerning in light of recent data showing that opioid deaths in our province more than doubled. We applaud investment in recovery, but you can’t recover if you’re already dead.
We have heard from a range of public health-care providers who tell us that their voices are not represented by this op-ed.
(NDP MLA and Critic for Municipal Affairs, Calgary)
(NDP MLA and Critic for Mental Health and Addictions, Edmonton)