Be the solution

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23

Dear Sir

Is this not a beautiful and wonderous world? I know our lives can be difficult at times, perhaps even difficult to endure. There is within humanity a need to sometimes escape our lives and daily routines, to leave an existence that can be unbearable. So we look for avenues of escape, places that allow us to breath freely, and experience what we may truly wish to do and be. Escape can be exciting and rewarding.

We can go on a vacation (if only), do things out of our lived routines, eat, drink and read something totally out of the ordinary. Sweet choices and in abundance too. Sometimes we enter into the gamblers world of drugs. it is a gamble you will take finding, consuming and experiencing safe narcotics. I am not talking about booze intake unless you are the 15 percent of North Americans that consume illegal.

Legal alcohol is relatively safe so long as you control your consumption right? What about weed, pills, something up the noise perhaps. Now we have a statistical problem to deal with, 68 percent of illegal drugs are not what they seem. Sure the pure chemicals are formulated and made using all sorts of toxic stuff, Fentanyl or perhaps Oxycontin. Now that is a spice that will not only give the user that wonderous kick, but it may take you on a trip down under, six feet down under.

Paramedics in British Columbia responded to 1,380 overdose calls in Abbotsford in 2021(one city) which was a 46 percent increase from 2020. Vancouver had 9,993 overdoses last year. Deaths from overdoses in British Columbia rose 34 percent in 2021. In Ontario, opioid deaths and emergency department visits continue to increase: 435 people died from opioid overdoses between January and March of this year, a 40 percent increase for the  same period in 2018: 3,420 emergency department visits due to overdoses from April to June of last year. These statistics are from Public Health Ontario, and with these comes a cry for help. The system is overloaded due to the pandemic, staff shortages and ventilators place lives in jeopardy each day.

Opioids killed as many as 14,000 Canadians in four years. Over 17,000 Canadians have been hospitalized due to opioid overdoses in the last four years. Most deaths happen because Canada’s illegal drug supply is contaminated with toxic materials. Synthetic opioids continue to be a major cause of hospitalization and death. Thousands of North Americans continue to have non-fatal overdoses while hundreds of thousands of their neighbours are affected by substance abuse.

Our governments continue to work together on societal changes including de-stigmatizing substance abuse, strengthening harm reduction measures, while reducing barriers to treatment. Did you know that 94 percent of opioid deaths in Canada in the first six months of 2021 were accidental? So there is something you can do to help yourself, your family and community.

All aged medication needs to be returned to a pharmacy immediately. All medication and personal use drugs must be locked up to protect your kids. If you are going through mental anguish, financial problems or are addicted GET HELP. If you must buy weed do so from legal and bonded agencies (illegal weed have been known to be contaminated).

If you feel depressed, lost and seeking relief, call someone, talk to someone. Family members and friends, open your eye’s to the visual and personality marks that someone you care for requires assistance. Most live on the internet and phones, so Goggle away and inform yourselves immediately. 

Steven Kaszab

Bradford, Ontario

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