Furstenau demands action to protect children and youth from the toxic-drug supply

May 28, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. - In response to updated data from the BC Coroners Service highlighting the ongoing deadly risks to youth from the unregulated toxic drug supply, Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement:

“In the last five years, 126 children and youth have died because politicians won't act on what we know works. Our youth deserve better than empty promises. It's time for real action, not just words, to keep our kids and all British Columbians safe.

“Our children are growing up in an increasingly dangerous environment, and it is our responsibility to provide them with the education, support, and resources they need to navigate these risks. We need to create safe spaces where youth feel supported, not judged, and can access mental health and harm reduction services. 

“Education is vital. Rather than stigmatizing, we should focus on informing and supporting our youth to make healthier decisions. We must equip our children with accurate information about drugs and harm-reduction practices. Open, honest conversations about the public health emergency we face, where six people die each day from unregulated toxic drugs, are essential. By engaging with youth and understanding their realities, we can help them make informed, healthier decisions.

“There is one drug checking site in Victoria for all of Vancouver Island. These services are essential for people to understand what they are consuming. Substance in Victoria excels at outreach, providing low-barrier drug checking at festivals and events, as well as confidential mail-in testing. 

“The BC NDP should be working to ensure well-funded drug checking services are available and accessible across the province. This is a step we can take now to make sure our kids are safe, whether they currently consume drugs or experiment with them, they need to be safe no matter what.

“We also need to address root causes such as anxiety, depression, and social challenges that can drive young people to substance use. There's a lack of support, particularly mental health care, in schools - we must fill these gaps and make mental health professionals accessible in schools province-wide.”



Media Contact
JoJo Beattie
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]

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