Despite national protests and pandemic health emergencies dominating the news, we can’t let one of the most important emergencies to slip our notice.
We are talking, of course, about the “opioid crisis” in B.C. and in our community specifically. We learned last week that 26 people died in Campbell River in 2021 due to not just overdosing but also drug toxicity. And those are 26 people – human beings. They were sons, daughters, fathers, mother – people. The reasons for their drug use and addiction are varied but the loss of these lives is tragic, whether it was in 2021 due to overdosing or due to becoming drug dependent months and years ago. Always keep that in mind.
We hear a lot of callous disregard for the lives of these people but, as a community, that is not how we should be evaluating this crisis. We can’t harden our hearts to the sad stories represented by the statistics reported by the BC Coroner’s Service this month. These people are not statistics, they are a health and social crisis that we all bear a responsibility for resolving.
National protests will go away, hopefully the COVID-19 pandemic will be brought under control but make no mistake, the overdose crisis will be with us for some time yet. It’s past time that we as a society take steps to resolve it.