Responding to the Overdose Crisis


Judy Graves, OneCity’s candidate for City Council for the October 2017 By-Election, has been working with people who live with addiction for over 40 years.  

The “War on Drugs” has not put us any closer to combating addiction, nor closer to preventing catastrophic loss of life. In fact, it has led us in exactly the opposite direction, causing indescribable suffering while wasting taxpayer dollars at every turn.  

The world’s unregulated drug supply is contaminated, and there is no way we can police our way out of the problem. In order to deal with the drug crisis, OneCity supports humane, evidence-based solutions that will have positive immediate and long-term implications.


Addressing the Causes of the Overdose Crisis:

1) Decriminalize all drugs, including diverted prescription drugs.

2) Build thousands of affordable and supportive housing units to permanently house the homeless and those in unstable living conditions.

3) Establish a City advisory committee that includes people who use drugs and others directly impacted by the crisis while fairly compensating them for their time.


Strengthening Front-Line Responses

4) Advocate for more community overdose response teams (or teams of care) with appropriate medical training and relationships with communities who are afflicted by the drug crisis, so that they can take some of the pressure off first responders.

5) In the interim, immediately increase the budget for firefighters who have been forced to overextend their resources in responding to a surge in overdoses.

6) Establish mandatory city-wide distribution of naloxone - including intranasal naloxone.

7) Expand proper overdose response training to all City staff to address the stigmatization of people who use drugs.


Making our City Safe for Everyone

8) Establish a program for city-wide needle collection and distribution of sharps boxes where people who use intravenous drugs can safely dispose of used needles; and the implementation a building code that makes sharps boxes mandatory in new public facilities.

9) Open up staffed safe spaces in existing public facilities as points of care for people who use drugs.


Advocating for National & Provincial Changes

10) Call on the Federal Government to legalize all drugs.

11) Work with medical associations and the Federal Government to change the restrictions placed on the sale of over-the-counter pain medications that drive patients to black market sources.

12) Advocate for the Province to deliver more low threshold opioid replacement programs (for methadone, suboxone, hydromorphone, and diacetylmorphine) and easier access to detox and treatment.