Drugs and Addiction as a Healthcare Issue

Moved by Liberal Party of Canada (Alberta)

WHEREAS drug use and abuse has far reaching implications on society;

WHEREAS the traditional societal response to misuse of drugs has been traditionally addressed through justice and criminal enforcement measures;

WHEREAS emerging evidence points to the need to take a wider approach that considers not only current laws and societal attitudes, but also the impacts such laws and attitudes have had and continue to have on the most vulnerable members of society1;

WHEREAS substance abuse has been shown to be a significant drain on Canada’s economy through its direct impact on the healthcare and criminal justice systems2;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Federal Liberal Government undertake a broad policy framework that underpins the need for appropriate regulation of access to recreational and prescription drugs reflective of current evidence and research, increased access to treatment and rehabilitation, reformed criminal justice responses that enshrine treatment and rehabilitation as an operating principle, and clear differentiation between responsibilities at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels of government relative to the impacts of drug use on society;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Federal Liberal Government include in said policy framework the legalization of marijuana, harm-reduction programs that provide non-judgmental portals to treatment, healthcare spending that addresses underlying issues that contribute to addiction and criminalization, and reforms in prison healthcare that mitigates the role-conflict between security and inmate health.

1 Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. (2012). Changing the Frame: A New Approach to Drug Policy in Canada. Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Retrieved from http://drugpolicy.ca/solutions/publications/changingtheframe/

2 Rehm, J. et al. (2006). The Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada 2002. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.ccsa.ca/Resource%20Library/ccsa-011332-2006.pdf