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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland approves solar project

Despite community opposition, council voted 4-3 for Cartwright Mountain location

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Oliver Town Hall closed to public as staffer shows COVID-19 symptoms

One staff member at Oliver Town Hall is being tested for coronavirus

Penticton woman struck by mystery bullet

Woman suffers no major injuries; RCMP without any leads, investigation continues

Village of Keremeos looks to dismantle systemic racism

Mayor says the time is right to deconstruct racist institutions

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Police keep eye on motorbike gang in Kelowna for poker run

The Throttle Lockers Motorcycle Club Poker Run was to have taken place on July 11

Prohibited driver ticketed after rollover on Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Jeep Cherokee hit rock face before rolling multiple times

COVID-19 exposure on Kelowna flight

Interior Health has capacity to test individuals who need it, but is reminding everyone that testing is not required for those who do not have symptoms

Most Read