Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, a day put aside annual to remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.
“Today is International Overdose Awareness Day; a day in which we remember and mourn the family members, friends and neighbours we’ve lost to drug toxicity. To the thousands of B.C. families grieving the loss of a beloved family member, I extend my heartfelt condolences and my hope that the stories you’ve shared will continue to influence positive change. Those who died mattered and their loss is felt deeply, and we must continue to urge those in positions of influence across our province and the country to move to urgently implement measures to prevent more unnecessary suffering and death.” -- Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner, BC Coroners Service
The commemoration at the end of August comes as the ongoing epidemic continues to claim lives amid growing calls for actions that will address a public health crisis and stimulate discussion on prevention and drug policy.
This year, the day of recognition arrives in the Northwest with a public warning still in place, with Northern Health having outlined its concern over recent Overdose events in the northwest.
With incidents of overdoses rising in the region, the health Authority issued a an Overdose Alert for Terrace and Smithers earlier this month.
Northern Health also provided a glimpse into the issue with this background piece from one family to reflect the issues of struggles with opioids.
While Prince Rupert was not included in that alert, the North Coast Transition Society which perhaps has the most interaction with those on the streets offered up their own concerns at the time.
Further items of note from Northern Health can be explored here,