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When Politicians Withhold A Safe Drug Supply, Canadians Die

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25.04.2019

In last week's National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis, people who use drugs, their families and harm-reduction workers gathered in dozens of communities for the largest demonstrations for drug decriminalization and safe supply in Canada's history. In Toronto, lead organizers We Grieve Thousands staged a "die-in" and let off smoke bombs in front of Health Canada's offices. Vancouver's event was styled as a parade, complete with floats and a New Orleans-style marching band. Prince George, B.C.'s courthouse was coated in blood-red handprints, symbolizing the complicity of Canada's legal system in the overdose crisis.

Jeff BierkAkia Munga, centre, weeps at a die-in in Toronto.

While each event took on a distinct style, each of them spoke the same message to Canadians: Wake up, we are dying. As the protesters last week would tell you, ensuring a safe, regulated supply of opioid and stimulant drugs is not just a solution to the crisis, but also a human right.

Consider the grim circumstances that brought grieving and heartbroken Canadians together last week: An average of 11 preventable overdose deaths occur each day across the nation. People who use drugs are criminalized. Police in cities like Calgary prevent those at risk of overdose from accessing overdose prevention services. Tainted illicit drugs, unpredictable in both potency and content, factor into the majority of Canada's overdose deaths. Alternatives to illicit drugs, like a safe drug supply, are........

© HuffPost