The NDP released the document called “’We Have to Start Here’: Addressing the Root Causes of Manitoba’s Addictions Crisis and Reducing Harm from Problematic Meth Use” on Thursday, bringing forward a number of recommendations to Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government.
“We see firsthand the impacts of meth use, from increased violent crime and outbreaks of blood-borne infections,” NDP leader Wab Kinew said in a release.
On the front lines of Winnipeg’s meth crisis
“But it is important to understand this is part of a long term addictions crisis Manitoba is facing. After listening to experts we are proposing real solutions to help Manitoba families.”
The NDP said the report surveyed physicians, law enforcement and front-line service organizations, but could not confirm how many people we’re actually spoken to.
The report recommends tackling the cause of addictions, including poverty, as well as focusing on harm reduction, prevention and treatment.
The document also suggests a budget increase to the province’s regional health authority for clean needles and supplies, an increase in long-term treatment beds and the establishment of one or more safe-consumption sites in Winnipeg’s downtown or north-end area.
“Experts tell us that to fight crystal meth and other addictions we have to first fight poverty and other social problems that cause addictions. If not, we will simply be treating the symptoms and allowing the disease of addictions to get worse and worse,” Kinew said.
“The Pallister government is more concerned about their own political reputation than helping families caught in addiction’s vicious cycle.”
The NDP did not disclose what the strategies would cost. Global News has reached out to the Manitoba Government for comment.
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