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British Columbia’s solicitor normal says there’s no proof of widespread diversion of safe-supply opioids, after a current drug seizure was cited by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Opposition Chief Pierre Poilievre to criticize the provincial program.

Mike Farnworth says he’s spoken to the RCMP’s commanding officer in B.C. concerning the seizure in Prince George and was informed that the concept there may be widespread diversion is “merely not true.”

He says Smith and Poilievre shouldn’t have made claims concerning the seizure with out ready for all the data.

RCMP in Prince George stated final week that the seized tablets included morphine and hydromorphone, two medication which can be a part of B.C.’s program providing prescription options to folks susceptible to overdose from consuming poisonous avenue medication.

Farnworth says “some however not all” of the medication seized in Prince George and in one other investigation in Campbell River have been from the secure provide program.

Smith stated on Friday she was involved that diverted secure provide medication from B.C. might find yourself being trafficked to Alberta, whereas Poilievre pledged to scrap the provincial program if he turns into prime minister.

Farnworth stated in a hallway of the legislature on Monday that each politicians ought to have waited for extra particulars.

“Basing your statements on one single information report with out ready for all the data isn’t the … proper method to go about issues,” he stated.

He alluded to the potential for prescription capsule counterfeiting, saying legal organizations have been “extraordinarily subtle by way of how they’ll make issues look.”

B.C. Premier David Eby stated he had spoken to Smith about her issues and he “made a dedication” that B.C. officers are “pleased to satisfy along with her to obtain any info or proof that they’ve of diversion.”

When Eby was requested about Poilievre’s remark over the weekend, he stated he was reluctant to take a position concerning the actions of future governments, however stated the path is evident for B.C. and it was preserving folks alive.

In response to a request for particulars on whether or not any of the tablets seized in Prince George had originated from the secure provide program, RCMP Employees Sgt. Kris Clark despatched an e mail saying police wouldn’t present additional info.

Within the RCMP information launch final week, Cpl. Jennifer Cooper stated police had seen “an alarming pattern over the past yr,” uncovering growing quantities of prescribed drugs in drug-trafficking investigations.

The tablets are getting used as a type of forex to buy stronger, illicit avenue medication, she added.

Cooper additionally stated, “organized crime teams are actively concerned within the redistribution of secure provide and prescribed drugs,” a few of that are resold outdoors B.C.

Eby informed an unrelated information convention on Monday that there’s at all times a threat that prescription medicines might be diverted to folks they’re not meant for.

The vast majority of hydromorphone prescribed in B.C. is prescribed for ache, he stated.

“It doesn’t matter the supply of the diversion. If there may be diversion from British Columbia, from a pharmacy, from people, we need to handle that problem,” Eby stated.

“We need to hold folks secure, and we would like be sure that we’re addressing the poisonous drug disaster.”

The purpose of B.C’s secure provide program is to “get folks away from the poisonous medication on the road, to get between them and predatory drug sellers, with a health-care skilled … to maintain them alive to allow them to get into remedy,” Eby stated.

He stated he hears from dependancy medical doctors that they discover this system efficient to maintain folks alive, interact with them, and get them into remedy.

“That doesn’t imply that we’d settle for diversion of those medication that would put different communities or different people in danger,” Eby stated.

Provincial well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry launched a overview of B.C.’s secure provide program in December, discovering some purchasers reported diverting hydromorphone so as “to acquire fentanyl or different substances that adequately handle their withdrawal and cravings” or to assist others who can’t entry this system.

“The influence of utilizing diverted prescription opioids on folks at present threat of unregulated drug poisoning stays unclear,” the report stated.

Anecdotal studies counsel youth could also be accessing the diverted medication, however present B.C. knowledge doesn’t point out a rise in opioid use dysfunction amongst them, the report stated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed March 11, 2024.

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