Anyone affected by the opioid crisis, from users and their families to first responders and other service providers, should take time today to remember those lost or who have had their lives forever changed by the use of illicit drugs.
International Overdose Awareness Day offers a way for the various communities touched by the crisis to heal.
Where some people may feel a distance from its devastating effects, thinking “it’s not my family,” or “no one I know is involved,” this day is designed to educate about the depth of the crisis and illustrate just how close to home it can strike.
Media coverage of the shocking number of overdoses and deaths seen in B.C. due to this epidemic, which comes across as a running count of the destruction caused, might lead one to think our region is suffering the worst of the opioid crisis.
After all, the fentanyl-fuelled scenario prompted the B.C. government to declare a public health emergency in 2016.
We hope the marking of this day promotes better understanding of the issue, inspires more conversations, and perhaps creates empathy for those willing to face serious risks as a way to escape an uncomfortable reality.