I have a strong concern in our Canadian society of the opioid/ fentanyl epidemic that has ravaged our society since the year 20216. It was disheartening to read in the news this past week that the first two months of this year, January and February, registered twenty-eight overdoes death in the city of Regina. Two years ago there were only four deaths within the same time period.
With the Covid crisis absorbing all the oxygen in the media, the opioid epidemic has almost disappeared from the screen. There are far more deaths from opioids / bad drugs than there are from the Covid virus.
I ask myself, what can I do? What contribution can I make to improve the situation?
Along with our governments, our health facilities and our families, I stand almost helpless. We cannot control what people take to get high or use to numb the terrible pain of their addiction. As a society there is no way we can legislate our way out of this. Will education help the population become more aware of the danger that drug consumption entails?
It is a very dangerous world out there for anyone who uses drugs. Added to the danger is the fact that these synthetic drugs are very cheap to make. The scene is complicated with more powerful synthetic drugs that have come into use. We can only look forward in horror to what new drugs might be developed in the near future.
Every family in Canada is only one family away from a case of serious addiction or of an overdose. It is not at all uncommon to have a non-user, pop a pill offered from a friend and this first timer might result in a fatal overdose. Twenty-eight overdoes in a small city like Regina is very sobering!
Within the Church we cannot pretend that this is not a serious issue for our families. We want to be sympathetic and willing to accompany any family that struggles with the addictions one of their members may be trapped in. We want to be right up front with admitting our impotence in this regard. As a faith community, we have much to learn.
We want to educate and help family members understand what is going on. We want to be taught what drug addiction means and the implications it has on family life.
But at the bottom line, I (along with many other church members), are standing in a helpless situation begging God for help. Confronted by the fentanyl crisis I have never felt the need for God’s help in such a strong way.