EDITORIAL: It’s time to face the truth on drug use

The homeless don’t own the drug epidemic

Last week when we learned the primary heroin dealer in Sooke had been selling a dangerous cocktail of drugs that contained everything but heroin, the news was, we suspect, probably met with shrugs and a bit of self righteous tongue clucking.

Drug addicts. Those people need to clean up their act, right?

It didn’t help the warning was issued by the Sooke Shelter Society – a source that served to bolster the belief that the majority of the opioid problem in Sooke and in B.C. in general was an issue for the homeless or severely disadvantaged in society.

Only that isn’t the case.

It’s not primarily the homeless who are dying from these drugs.

The majority of drug deaths in B.C. – 73 per cent – are happening to people who live in private residences, as opposed to nine per cent in the ranks of the homeless.

The victims span all demographics, but they are primarily male, unmarried, and between the ages of 30 and 59. Most are employed in the trades or transport, although about half are unemployed at the time of their death.

And the people who are dying are people you may know. They’re friends, neighbours and family members, and in B.C., they’re dying at a rate of about 90 people a month.

It’s a hidden plague that’s hitting our community, and it’s high time to shine a light on the problem.

Most of us can’t imagine what induces a person to inject themselves with a potentially deadly drug.

Addiction is, after all, a hugely complex and destructive disease.

But if current trends continue, if you don’t already know someone who has a problem with addiction, you will.

And the solutions to the drug problem in Sooke and beyond are equally complex.

But it has to begin with acknowledging the truth that this is a problem that transcends the homeless and affects us all.

We need to educate ourselves about this plague, learn the signs of addiction and help drug users get treatment.

We need to aggressively prosecute those who supply and promote these deadly poisons.

It all begins with admitting that the problem is not the domain of the disadvantaged, but that it has the potential to affect us all.

A failure to concede that fundamental truth will only lead to more lives being shattered, often behind closed doors.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

MLA Adam Olsen calls for ‘substantial’ changes in provincial economy

Green Party MLA also criticizes gap between government rhetoric and actions

500 pounds of turkey served at Cool Aid community Christmas dinner

Annual dinner serves hundreds of community members

VIDEO: Annual Tuba Christmas concert draws large crowd to Market Square

Over 100 tuba and euphonium players gathered to play festive tunes

Revisit Christmas past as Point Ellice House displays Victorian-era traditions

Antique bobbles, cards, decor and more are on display

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read