The BC Centre for Disease Control released the Overdose Action Exchange (ODAX) meeting report on Wednesday, October 3rd. The meeting, held in June, brought together more than 160 participants who are actively working to respond to the overdose crisis including people with lived experience. The report summarizes meeting discussions on six key themes and outlines actions that can be taken to prevent overdose deaths. The report captures the different ideas expressed by participants in the meeting, which was designed to provide a safe and open environment to discuss B.C.’s devastating drug overdose crisis.
Participants identified two overarching themes. First, the group said drug policy needs to be reformed to decriminalize all drug possession. Second, there is an urgent need to get safer drugs into the hands of people who need them. The report also emphasizes the need to do a better job of engaging the Indigenous community, which is overrepresented in the drug overdose crisis, as well as the key role played by people who use substances in developing and implementing realistic and effective solutions.
The 2018 report is available at: http://www.bccdc.ca/resource-gallery/Documents/Educational%20Materials/Epid/Other/ODAX_meetingreport_2018.pdf.