Riverview Hospital proposed to be opened to help deal with fentanyl crisis

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart has proposed that Riverview Hospital be opened to provide treatment for people dealing with drug addiction. Stewart’s proposal is based on a report by Dr. John Higenbottam that recommended the site be used for health, education and training purposes, in 2014.

In Vancouver where the drug crises is the highest in the province, Dr. Reka Gustafson of Vancouver Coastal Health and Dr. Patricia Daly, the Chief Medical Health Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health, presented an update on the opioid crisis in Vancouver, to the Vancouver city council, on Tuesday (Jan. 24). Doctors Gustafson and Daly said the root causes of drug use have to be addressed because emergency response is not reducing the crisis. The physicians called for the legalization of drugs so that the production and supply of drugs can be regulated and drug users will not have to buy drugs on the street whose composition might be life threatening. Gustafson and Daly also said drug users face the stigma of drug use and the stigma is affecting how drugs and drug use is being dealt with.

Former Riverview Hospital is proposed for use to manage the fentanyl crisis in Coquitlam. City of Coquitlam/Photo

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