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B.C. is moving to prevent a large number of deaths from overdose by recent prisoners – Agassis Harrison Observer

B.C. a project is launched aimed at reducing the number of deaths from overdose by prisoners who were recently released from penitentiary facilities.

A panel for the coronary death review last year found about two-thirds of BC. residents who have died from illegal drug trafficking for a period of 19 months have had recent contact with the criminal justice system.

READ MORE: Opioid crisis can shorten British Columbians' lifespan

The commission said that from January 2016 to the end of July 2017, in their first month of release, 333 people were killed.

The health ministry announced Wednesday that it has set up five new community transition teams in Surrey, Prince George, Camlups, Nanaimo and Port Coquitlam, to help people with opioid disorders receive treatment.

The teams consist of a social worker and a peer who used drugs and could also be closed to work with a person who was released to help provide the needed support.

Lin Peletier, with B.C. Mental health and substance use services say that people in the justice system are part of the most vulnerable societies, yet they are the hardest to get into the current emergency overdose.

"Integrating community-based correctional care with the care of the community gives us the opportunity not only to prevent overdose, but also to connect with health services and perhaps to change the trajectory of their lives, referring to some of the social and economic realities that have brought them with us in the first place. "

Dr. Nader Sharifi, medical director of health repair services, says that about 40 percent of people in correction facilities receive treatment for disruption of opioid use.

He says people are at increased risk when leaving the facility and have no access to a doctor.

"There are barriers to continuing the treatment they are beginning with us," she said in a press release.

Community transition teams began to connect with their first clients this month. The provincial health authority says it hopes to boost the project next year on the basis of the results of the service.

Canadian press

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