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HIV, Hepatitis, and Injection Drug Use in British Columbia - Pay Now or Pay Later?

Publication type: 
Policy Paper / Action Plan
PDF icon chodarr0292.pdf1.41 MB
BC Ministry of Health
A report providing information on the progress being made to address the epidemic of death and disease resulting from injection drug use in British Columbia. Progress in this area is considered in light of the Provincial Health Goals set by the Minister of Health in March 1998. The epidemiology of drug use, and drug-related disease and mortality is summarized for British Columbia, Vancouver, and by individual health regions. Recommendations are provided on measures that should be taken to continue to pursue the Provincial Health Goals related to illicit drugs. These include improving the organization and access levels to addiction services; the provision of child care, mental health services, and housing; the use of a harm reduction approach; and instituting a drug court program. The report argues "the business case" for expanding addiction services, in terms of why it is more economically prudent to provide methadone therapy, detox and rehab services than for government and taxpayers to "pay later" for the care of IDU who have contracted disease due to lack of access to services.
British Columbia; BC Ministry of Health; substance use; injection drug use; methadone; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis; harm reduction; risk reduction; drug court; drug users; health policy; social policy; substance use; Vancouver; health services; drug treatment; support services