LETTER: Safe supply a solution to overdose crisis

In the days that followed the overwhelming feelings of grief and shock, I grappled for answers. I wanted something tangible, I wanted something to fight for. I wanted something or someone to be angry at.

This is how I felt after receiving the heartbreaking news that a childhood friend of mine, Morgan Goodridge, had lost his battle with addiction, this disease had taken his life. He put up a good fight, but his opponent cheated. Why and how can this happen? How can a government declare a state of emergency in 2016, yet have made no progress on decriminalizing opioids, and eliminating the toxic supply?

Imagine for a moment that alcohol was prohibited and that you and your friends periodically drank it, nonetheless. Then one day, your friend dies after drinking some methanol-tainted wine. Would you be calling for a continuation of prohibition? Or would you perhaps then be in favour of a legal, regulated supply of wine?

Bonnie Henry, a respected voice of reason over the past six months, has guided us through another health crisis here in B.C. She has blamed COVID-19 for closing borders and making what Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy calls “a perfect storm.” Since borders to the south are closed, “safer” supply chains have been cut off. This has allowed room for even higher toxic supply doses to begin to fill this void. However, there is a clear solution here, and unlike the current solution for COVID-19, we do not have to wait for this “vaccine.” There is a solution to what killed my friend – the solution to the overdose crisis is a safe supply.

I work in a health care office downtown, and am often overwhelmed by the amount of people struggling with mental health and addictions that come through our doors daily. There is only so much we, as a walk-in-clinic, can do. There needs to be more organizations like Together We Can, and charities and activists working together such as Moms Stop The Harm.

I want the government to put their money where their mouths are. The stigmatization will not go away, but our voices of outraged family members, teachers, and friends, can get louder. Please help us stop the harm. Enough is enough. How many more people need to die before something is done, Premier John Horgan? Working as a page in the Legislature as a teenager at Reynolds Secondary School, I used to serve you your water, and we casually chatted about what I hoped to do when I grew up. I remember saying I hoped to grow up to be an adult that was capable of making positive change. Standing up against injustice, instead of stigmatizing.

There were 171 deaths in B.C. for the month of May. A total of 131 overdose calls responded to in a single day in June (amazingly, none of these 131 people lost their lives that day, because of our EMTs). In June there were 175 deaths, my friend Morgan was one of these people. He was the kindest soul, so giving, so loving. He was only 26 years old, and he did not need to die that day.

Jade Taylor

Saanich

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

Just Posted

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read