Editorial: Real solutions needed

The opioid crisis continues to grow, despite public attention

According to the B.C. Coroners Service, overdoses claimed 1,208 lives on the streets of B.C. between January and October.

That’s almost double the same period in 2016 when there were 683 deaths. And, if you haven’t guessed where this is leading already, fentanyl played a big part in that increase. The Coroners Service says the drug was detected in 999 of the confirmed and suspected overdose deaths.

Related: B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

That’s with three months to go in 2017. That’s not a crisis, that’s a full-blown disaster.

Almost 1,000 people overdosing on the same drug tells us we have a big problem with drug use in this province. According to the numbers, it’s growing, not decreasing. That means that despite more than a year’s talking and public worrying about the “opioid crisis” we’re still not doing enough to stem the tide.

There is always going to be some out there that say ‘Who cares?’ along with a comment about how society is better off without them. The quick answer to that is a community that doesn’t care about its weakest members isn’t deserving of the name.

The truth of the matter is that this isn’t just affecting street people and drug addicts. It’s happening in nice neighbourhoods around B.C. too, as people get addicted to their prescription painkillers.

There are no easy answers that are going to make the problem go away. Even removing fentanyl as a prescription drug is unlikely to have much of an effect, since the supply of it and other opioids have long since escaped the bounds of the pharmacy.

It is clear that the government needs to focus more resources on the problem. Making naloxone kits easily available only helps reduce the number of overdose deaths, it doesn’t eliminate the problem of opioid addiction.

Until this problem is dealt with it will continue to grow.

Just Posted

Down and dirty for South Okanagan burrowing owls

Volunteers needed for a series of work camps to restory burrowing owl dens

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

Powwow honours children

Between the Lakes powwow devotes Sunday to children

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m. A majority of air support is still… Continue reading

Auntie Says: Mind your own buisness

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan

Smoke cancels Super League Penticton, organizers give pros a gift

Super League Penticton organizers decide to send all pro competitors to championship

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Crews continue extinguish Snowy Mountain Wildfire

The 13,359 hectare wildfire is classified as held

Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

Passengers are being asked to check their flight’s status before arriving

Work continues on Monashee Complex wildfires

Crews will be assisted by helicopters if flying conditions improve

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

Most Read