EDITORIAL: RCMP spreads word on opioid crisis

The RCMP is doing their part, the public now needs to do theirs

EDITORIAL: RCMP spreads word on opioid crisis

The Port Alberni RCMP’s town hall meeting on the Alberni Valley’s drug crisis comes at the same time Island Health has issued a warning that carfentanil—an opioid far more deadly than fentanyl—has been discovered in the city.

RCMP Insp. Brian Hunter wants to start a dialogue with the community on the seriousness of this opioid crisis. It’s not a new subject: fentanyl has made headlines across Canada this year as first responders in Alberta and British Columbia have been forced to deal with hundreds of overdoses and deaths from these insidious drugs.

Local people who have been personally affected by the tragedy of fentanyl overdoses have shared their stories in the past months, and still the crisis continues. Hunter will have available RCMP representatives to talk about the scope of the crisis as well as other programs like victims’ services. He has also asked someone from Island Health to be on hand to answer questions and pass on information.

This is an extreme circumstance that demands extreme measures to deal with it, and the RCMP have stepped up by organizing this public event. Let’s hope members of the public take advantage of it with a high turnout.

One may think that the fentanyl crisis is only hitting a certain socio-economic part of our community, but one would be wrong: fentanyl does not choose sides, and is not swayed by a government cheque or a mill paycheque. Death by opioids is indiscriminate.

Who is overdosing or dying shouldn’t matter: this drug—and now carfentanil—is killing people in our community, and it behooves the community to learn more about treatment and prevention.

The town hall meeting runs from 7–9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5 at the Best Western Barclay Hotel. Everyone is welcome to attend, listen and ask questions.

—Alberni Valley News