News / Vancouver

Vancouver drug user group 'outraged' at proposed drug containment facility for police

Vancouver police say $700,000 facility is needed to handle fentanyl

Fentanyl pills.

ELIZABETH CAMERON / For Metro

Fentanyl pills.

An advocacy group for drug users say a proposed drug containment facility for the Vancouver Police Department is "wasteful and unncessary" given the ongoing opioid crisis.

VPD are proposing a $11-million budget increase, much of which is slated for wage increases and additional hires. But the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) is especially "outraged" at plans for the containment facility, saying the money could instead be used to save drug users' lives.

"A $700,000 drug containment facility is wasteful and unnecessary,” VANDU community organizer Aiyanas Ormond said in a press release.

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Rather than increased policing, the community needs more public education, health services, and other supports, said VANDU vice president Hugh Lampkin.

"This money could be put toward services to help people who use drugs survive this [overdose] epidemic. It could be used for real drug education and support programs for young people. It could be used for housing or other economic supports for our communities.”

Police told Metro Sunday that the drug containment facility is necessary to protect officers when they handle evidence, especially fentanyl.

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