Steve Arneil (centre) has gathered a group of concerned citizens together to tackle the opioid crisis in Campbell River. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell Riverites banding together to fight fentanyl crisis

A group of concerned citizens has banded together to tackle the fentanyl crisis in Campbell River.

Among the group is former mayor Lynn Nash and Grassroots Kind Hearts founder Krisandra Rufus.

“Basically, it’s a team that’s going to do whatever it can to help with the fentanyl crisis,” said Steve Arneil, the group’s founder. “And priority one is teaching the kids about the dangers.”

The second priority is creating a quicker treatment process. These days it takes weeks, even months to get into a treatment program, Arneil said.

Arneil has assembled a group of people who are intent on finding a solution to all needs of all substance abuse victims. The plan is to have a crisis team that can react within minutes to someone’s cry for help.

The fentanyl overdose crisis is all over the news and is a widespread problem throughout communities in British Columbia, including Campbell River.

Related: Campbell River hit hard by fentanyl crisis; overdose rate twice that of the rest of the Island

The crisis is putting a strain on not only the health system with ambulance and fire departments responding to overdosing users.

It also impacts crime, putting a heavier workload on police, and forces taxes up as municipalities struggle to deal with higher crime rates.

Arneil knows of what he speaks, having struggled with fentanyl addiction for years.

In 2011 he wrote a book about his life and his struggles entitled In the Name of the Moondog. But Arneil said this is not about making himself famous or increasing book sales.

“I don’t need possessions what I need is to help save lives because I have lost so many people to this monster that enough’s enough,” he said.

The situation is getting worse and he wants to prevent more youths from getting hooked. It is a crisis that affects all walks of life – “good families” as well as bad ones.

“If you think your children are safe from drugs, I can’t stress this enough, they are not,” Arneil said.

The committee’s first course of action is circulating a flyer that is soliciting help from the community. In the flyer Arneil says, “I am begging you Campbell River, please come and join our team or find our how you can help. We are all in this together, and together we can do it all.”

For more information or to make contact, visit the group’s website: www.InTheNameOfTheMoondog.com

Just Posted

Suspects carry out 500-lb fireplace in latest commercial smash and grab

Third break-in at Campbell River business in less than a week: RCMP

TSB investigating the grounding of Nana Provider on Quadra

‘This was a wake-up call to the people on the inside passage,’ says area director

With locks, you get what you pay for: RCMP offer tips for keeping bikes safe

Documenting the bicycle and knowing the serial number also help

Survey gives City of Campbell River some kudos, but also some raspberries

Some satisfaction survey results improved, while others stagnated or declined since 2016

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Salvation Army kettle campaign targets $200,000 for Island residents in need

Goal is to raise $250,000 this year for Vancouver Island residents needing support

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Most Read