The Responses and Costs to Addiction, Now

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the Vancouver Sun, there is an addiction problem not only within British Columbia but across all Canada.

The questions about the health of Canadian citizens comes in the form of the addiction problems of the culture. The addictions not given compassion care, and concern but, more appropriately, the punitive and harsh approaches seen with heavier penalties in jails and reduction in the consideration for the external factors of individuals addicted to a substance.

The problem, or part of it, according to the reportage, is the difficulty in the ability to find and access the services needed for the population of addicts. Those who want to get or acquire the help but cannot get access to it.

It becomes an issue in the distribution of services to the Canadian citizens — disproportionately Indigenous — who most need the services. The tiny increases in governmental funding for these services are, as they should be — based on the evidence, transmitted to the efforts of the harm reduction community.

Those people who adhere to the evidence, philosophy, and implementation via the methodology of harm reduction for individuals suffering from substance use. People are dying. They are being killed by overdoses at an increasing rate due to low funding and negligence of services for them.

The Director of the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, Evan Wood, stated, “There are structural reasons that we don’t have a functioning system for addictions care that are driven by a number of factors, one being stigma. So, ribbon-cutting for things related to substance use and addiction have traditionally not been attractive to politicians… In recent years, we’ve had a lot of, a number of, courageous politicians who have stepped up, who have been convinced, so that is changing. But this hasn’t been an attractive area to devote resources to.”

Many of the users of substances in the province and across the nation do not get the needed support mechanism due to barriers. Not for lack of trying. Based on a new report entitled “Strategies to Strengthen Recovery in British Columbia: The Path Forward,” there are a number of recommendations on the table in order to deal with the opioid and other crises involving substances throughout the nation.

These include the universal access to the addictions treatment paid for by the Medical Services Plan. In addition, there are about one million British Columbians who suffer from a the chronic illness known as addiction, which makes this highly prevalent and almost certainly means someone at some time, even right now, know someone within their own family who is suffering from addiction of some form.

The financial — leaving alone the moral considerations, ethical dilemmas — costs are in the billions of dollars, which is a staggering amount of money to be taken into account given the kind of problem that we are facing; the form of crisis confronting us at the moment.

One co-author on the report, Marshall Smith, explained, “Recovery is for everyone. Can people always attain that? Not necessarily. And not necessarily off the bat. Some need some more support… That should be the gold-standard and the goal of every addiction program — to assertively assist in getting people on trajectory to remission, improved health and positive engaged citizenship.”

More information in the new report.

Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash


(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail:

He published in American Enterprise Institute, Annaborgia, Conatus News, Earth Skin & Eden, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Huffington Post, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Jolly Dragons, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology Department, La Petite Mort, Learning Analytics Research Group, Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab, Lost in Samara, Marijuana Party of Canada, MomMandy, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society, Piece of Mind, Production Mode, Synapse, TeenFinancial, The Peak, The Ubyssey, The Voice Magazine, Transformative Dialogues, Treasure Box Kids, Trusted Clothes.

Originally published at on July 25, 2018.