More treatment beds, funds for needles and safe injection site needed in meth fight: Manitoba NDP

Manitoba’s Opposition is calling for additional treatment beds, more money for clean needles and long-term solutions to tackle poverty in the fight against meth.

NDP leader Wab Kinew says his party interviewed several experts to put together a 22-page report on meth and addictions.

He says the conclusions show the province should increase the budget for clean needles. In December the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said it was on pace to distribute 2 million by the end of 2018.

Kinew is also calling for more long-term treatment beds in Winnipeg and one or more safe injections sites in the city.

Premier Brian Pallister said in December safe injection sites don’t work.

Kinew says the report also concludes poverty is a root cause of addiction. He believes getting people jobs, education and into housing would help break that cycle.

The NDP leader also says the province should move away from the “Just Say No” abstinence strategy for students and focus more on harm reduction.

Late last year the city, province and Ottawa announced an illicit drug task force to combat drugs, with solutions to come forward in six months.