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

One of Ighani’s trials may move to Kelowna

The matter is complicated by the fact that two complainants and the accused are all in custody

Penticton firearms sentencing set for May

Cody J. E. Wilson was found guilty on all but one count in a firearms trial earlier this month

Two decades of volunteering recognized with Rotary Unsung Citizen Award

Penticton man receives Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan Unsung Citizen Award

Penticton Vees defeat Surrey Eagles to hold on to first place in BCHL

The Penticton Vees (38-12-2-3) scored twice in the opening three minutes of the third period

Curlers gearing up for the B.C. Games

Penticton and Summerland team prepping to compete at B.C. Winter Games

Happy ending to Tom Sawyer’s story

Happy ending to story of a cat left on the side of the road to die

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

No charges for B.C. Mountie in car wash shooting

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Suspect faces charges of possession of stolen property, weapon

Two people arrested outside Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm Saturday, woman released without charge

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: SUV races moose along Similkameen roadway

Moose pose highway danger, and they are pretty fast too

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Most Read