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Abbotsford Police Chief pens proposal to fight opioid crisis

A paramedic tends to an overdose patient in the St. Paul’s Hospital ambulance bay.
A paramedic tends to an overdose patient in the St. Paul’s Hospital ambulance bay. Simon Little / Global News

Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich says there’s no time to waste when it comes to fighting the overdose crisis.

That’s why he’s penned a proposal that recommends educating people before it’s too late.

READ MORE: City of Vancouver reports 5 overdose deaths in one week, warns of carfentanil presence

“We have got to change the sort of culture around party drug use,” said Rich.

“We’ve [also] got to change the work that happens around people using pain medication because we’ve had a lot of people end up on street drugs after getting addicted to, you know, opioids used for pain. And we’ve got to help young people who end up using drugs to self-medicate or experiment.”

He says it’s important to also help young people who use drugs to self-medicate or experiment.

Abbotsford Police Chief says prevention is key to the overdose crisis.
Abbotsford Police Chief says prevention is key to the overdose crisis. Abbotsford Police

He says it’s easier to prevent rather than quitting once people become addicted.

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The proposal adds that prevention and intervention will help reduce stress on first responders.

READ MORE: Surrey safe-injection sites approved to supervise snorting drugs or taking them orally

Rich says the proposal is being sent to mayors, MLA’s and health authorities throughout the province.

He says it’s vital to act fast as this year is on pace to surpass 1,400 overdose deaths.