OPINION: We can do more

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At what point will our governments wake up and recognize the serious impact opioids are having on Canadian society?

Sure, politicians talk of how deadly fentanyl and other opioids can be, as well as how terribly addictive they can be as well. But that chatter tends to be in generalities.

It is past time for the federal and provincial governments to take a stand and fund anti-addictions programs at the grass roots level. Put the funds in the hands of the people who deal with the addicts on a daily basis.

It will save lives.

Here in Chatham-Kent, R.O.C.K Missions executive director Renee Geniole, whose staff and volunteers aid the homeless and the drug addicted – there is certainly a crossover – on a regular basis.

So far this year, she said five of R.O.C.K.’s regular clients have died of opioid overdose.

We’re not even out of February yet.

Overall, she said overdoses have increased, and the death toll does not tell the full story.

Opioids are generally derivative drugs from opium, produced from poppies. So too are non-addictive drugs such as codeine. There are some synthetic drugs as well.

The plant has yielded useful medicines, for sure, but the addictive nature of so many of the drugs and narcotics created from the poppy are concerning.

Opioids are freely used to battle chronic pain, exposing people from all walks of life to the medications.

It goes from improving quality of life short term to destroying it.

Funding education and addiction treatment more earnestly could seriously help in the battle against addiction.

Our children have to understand the true horrors of addiction, especially through opioid use.

We have to provide programs that offer immediate help for those who are trying to get clean from these drugs. It’s a bold step for an addict to come forward and admit they have a problem, but it can be fleeting. If that person is granted immediate access to treatment programs, the chance of success is exponentially greater than being placed at the back of the line for a long wait to be considered for such treatment.

We can, and must do better in the fight against opioids. Much of that starts with funding to establish consistent supports.

1 COMMENT

  1. We need to cut the rehab developers and caretakers and blank check. This IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM. When addicts want help, it’s simply not available. Don’t ever give me the safe supply as a work around. Check the stats. More death. More addiction. All those safe supply programs do is put those drugs in dealers hands when they trade for fentanyl.

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