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Activists and addicts taking on the federal government

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) –┬áDrug addicts, Downtown Eastside activists, and medical professionals are taking on the federal government over heroin treatment.

They’ve launched a constitutional challenge against Ottawa’s decision to deny the drug.

Providence Health Care President & CEO Dianne Doyle says they’re looking to reverse Ottawa’s decision to prevent doctors from giving prescription heroin to hard core addicts.

“Diacetylmorphine treatment, or heroin-assisted treatment, is a proven treatment option, a last resort for individuals for whom no other treatment option is effective.”

Doyle says they would have preferred to avoid the courts.

“But we, our care providers, Pivot Legal Society and the patients could not stand by and be witness to the moral distress this situation has created.”

The group accuses Ottawa of favouring ideology over science.

The legal action follows a court ruling two years ago that allowed Vancouver’s supervised injection site to stay open.