Front Burner

Inside the push to decriminalize opioids in Canada

The views from two Canadian cities where the opioid crisis is driving a new movement for decriminalization, featuring the Ontario Harm Reduction Network’s Nick Boyce and Chief Const. Mike Serr from Abbotsford, B.C.

Views from two Canadian cities in B.C. and Ontario

BC health officials say benzos, such as the clonazepam show here, are contaminating opioid street drugs, rendering naloxone less effective in reversing overdoses. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC )

Toronto has become one of the epicentres of the opioid crisis in Canada, and soon, the city will be asking Health Canada for an exemption to drug possession laws to try and keep those struggling with addiction out of the court system and potentially save more lives.

The city is following in the footsteps of Vancouver, which is already grappling with a devastating opioid crisis of its own. 

Today on Front Burner, the view from both those cities and the growing push toward decriminalization with Chief Const. Mike Serr from Abbotsford, B.C., and Nick Boyce, director at the Ontario Harm Reduction Network.