Sheila’s son was found in a Tim Horton’s washroom. He was dragged outside onto a snowbank where a good samaritan saved his life.
Sheila’s son lived. But many parents have buried their children because of the opioid epidemic in Canada.
The numbers behind this crisis are heart-wrenching – 8000 opioid related deaths since 2016. And as the government works to limit the prescriptions of opioids, those already in the throes of addiction are turning to the street where toxicity levels are completely unknown.
When you consider that 90% of all addictions start before the age of 21, and over 80% of overdoses are men — that’s a lot of sons Canadian parents have lost.
Desi’s would have turned 23 on Wednesday. But instead of celebrating their son’s birthday, Desi’s father, John, was pushing for change in Canada’s drug policies.
And he’s not alone.
A group of mothers have banded together through their grieving. Moms Stop the Harm was created by 3 mothers who lost their sons to overdose. Their group is now more than 700 moms.
Through their pain they are shouting two things: get your family educated about how dangerous any drug has become because of street trade or black market tampering. Second, get over our prejudice and get out there and care for each other and our kids – even if it means changing the laws in Canada to help in that.
With more awareness to this crisis, we can help stop further damage.
If you want more information and resources about addiction and substance abuse go to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
There are phone lines to help if you or a loved one are in urgent need of help. The Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service in B.C.: 1-800-663-1441
Connex Ontario: 1-866-531-2600
And the Crossroads 24/7 Prayer Line: 1-866-273-4444