LETTERS: Reality worth 1,000 words
Re: Mother shares pain of son’s overdose, Jan 20.
A mother who lost one of her sons to an overdose in 2014 stressed that open communication with youth is the best preventive measure. Opioid addiction and illicit drugs tainted with fentanyl are responsible for the overdose crisis, across Canada.
Government agencies and doctors in this province are developing some unconventional treatments to deal with this crisis. The federal government is following suit and considering adopting national guidelines for prescription heroin and making other treatments available for severe addiction.
In this province, the government is providing considerable financial assistance to cope with the crisis. Ambulance attendance to deal with street overdoses is at an all-time high. Also, more safe-injection centres have been opened, and drug kits to counteract the effects of a potential overdose are being supplied. These initiatives, although controversial, have saved many lives.
There seems to be no answer to the question, why do people experiment with illicit drugs, while knowing the severe consequences that may follow? The tragedy of recent times is the involvement of our youth and the pain and suffering of parents on the loss of a child. When a youth experiences drug addiction, the option is treatment, but the priority is prevention.
Open communication with youth may be a preventive measure. But, I think we have to go a step further. As a former member of the RCMP, I have had much experience with both juveniles and drug addicts. Many young people reach a stage when they think they know it all and sometimes do not listen to the advice of parents.
One way to get around this problem is to consider that one picture is worth 1,000 words.
I strongly suggest that if a young person either witnessed or saw a film of a drug addict in withdrawal they would be shocked into reality with a lifetime aversion to illicit drugs.
Withdrawal is a horrible suffering to witness. It appears that the victim is suffering a seizure with a pained expression and no control of his hands or arms. At one time this behaviour could be witnessed on East Hastings Street, particularly on Saturday mornings. However, I am unable to verify if this is still the case.
I can vouch for one father, who some years ago took his two daughters down to East Hastings to witness this.
It appeared to have the desired affect, as one is a university graduate and the other is in second-year university on a high school scholarship.
Bill Parrott, Surrey