Fentanyl: Niagara's silent killer

By Grant LaFleche, The Standard, Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jon Johnston's life wasn't supposed to end. Not that soon. Not like that.
He was supposed to be a known and respected chef among known and respected chefs. His creations were meant to delight diners and make other culinary artists jealous.

Johnston worked three jobs to put himself through chef's training at George Brown College. A year ago he was working at an upscale Toronto restaurant owned by Claudio Aprile, a judge on Canada's Master Chef television show. The future he worked so hard for was within reach.

Johnston's road came to an end at age 25 on a patch of sidewalk on the corner of Yonge and King streets in Toronto with a lethal dose of fentanyl in his veins, and only his health card, a list of dishes he recently cooked and a needle in his pocket.

Fentanyl: Niagara's silent killer

Canada’s first mobile overdose-prevention sites will soon hit the road in the Okanagan

Nick Eagland, Vancouver Sun, April 5, 2017

Kelowna resident Helen Jennens, a member of drug-policy advocacy group Moms Stop The Harm, said the mobile service is “a step in the right direction.”

But Jennens, who lost two sons to overdoses, said she wishes the federal government was quicker to approve supervised-consumption sites. She thought Kelowna would have one by now, considering the ongoing deaths.

“We know that the wheels move slowly when it comes to anything that’s political or in our health system,” she said. “But I don’t think this is the time to be dragging our heels.”

Canada’s first mobile overdose-prevention sites will soon hit the road in the Okanagan

Remembering Bria: Victoria woman dies from fentanyl overdose

CBC New Victoria, June 2, 2016

After trying to help his daughter break free from a drug addiction for more than a decade, Fernand Magnin says he had to prepare for the possibility he would one day lose her. But it didn't make it any easier. His daughter, Bria Magnin-Forster, 30, died from a fentanyl overdose in early May, 2016.

Remembering Bria: Victoria woman dies from fentanyl overdose

Fentanyl – What You Need to Know

Tyla Savard, Niki Brooks-Lukas, Grande Prarie AlbertaMarch 21, 2017

Fentanyl - What you need to know! is a community engagement event held in Grande Prairie Alberta bringing together community agencies, people with lived experience and families affected by the opioid crisis, to inform and educate the greater GP community. Future events, including presentation ins schools are planned.

Fentanyl – What You Need to Know

Provincial budget promises $45 million increase for addiction and mental health supports

Metro News Calgary, March 17, 2017

Rosalind Davis, an advocate who lost her partner to a fentanyl overdose last year says the money should be used to ensure immediate addiction treatment is available. Amy Graves, founder of the Get Prescription Drugs Off The Street Society (GPDOTS), said the cash should flow towards helping Albertan's who are already using or addicted to prescription opioids.

Provincial budget promises $45 million increase for addiction and mental health supports

Hardline approach to drug use costing lives, advocates tell Edmonton crowd

Edmonton Journal, March 10, 2017

Petra Schulz said it is foolish to think teenagers and young adults are not going to get into drugs, so one of her main messages is to encourage anyone at risk to practice safe habits — including having a naloxone kit nearby to reverse the effects of an overdose.

She said decriminalization would also be a good starting point to begin changing attitudes around drug use, and to shift people out of the justice system and into health programs. “We’ve had 50 years of a war on drugs and the only thing we have to show for it is a mounting death toll,” she said.

Hardline approach to drug use costing lives, advocates tell Edmonton crowd

Families heal together

Madison Erhardt, CASTANET - Feb 28, 2017

Dr. Gabor Mate in Kelowna with MSTH Helen Jennens, Leslie McBain, Arlene Howe, and Sandra Tully.

"I understand the distress a parent might feel about their anxious teen. However, I do think the addiction in any member of a family should be a wakeup call for the whole family. Nobody is to be blamed, but trauma is passed on from one generation to the next."

Families heal together

Calgarians demand action to stop spike in fentanyl deaths

Global News Calgary, Feb. 21, 2017

Jessica Holtsbaum lost her brother Nathan Huggins-Rosenthal to a fentanyl overdose last February. The 35-year-old was a Calgary stockbroker and had recently bought a house with his girlfriend. “Drugs don’t discriminate,” Holtsbaum said. “He had a back injury and he was prescribed OxyContin. And things just went down from there.”

Calgarians demand action to stop spike in fentanyl deaths

'We need more urgency': Edmontonians rally for more support in opioid crisis

CBC Edmonton News, February 21, 2017

A drug overdose robbed Faye Gray of a daughter, and her five-year-old grandson of a mother. Gray's daughter, Lindsey, 33, died in Nov. 2015 from a lethal dose of methamphetamine and fentanyl. ...She'd been using drugs for only six weeks.
"She was my daughter but she was also my best friend," Gray said, holding a photo of her smiling daughter.

'We need more urgency': Edmontonians rally for more support in opioid crisis

Many prescription opioid addicts engage in 'doctor shopping' before overdose deaths

Terry Reith and Briar Stewart, CBC News, Feb 11, 2017

When Leslie McBain's son Jordan Miller died from an opioid overdose, it wasn't from fentanyl or another substance he had bought on the street — it was from legally prescribed drugs he had obtained after visiting several different doctors.

The source of the drugs he took is far more common than most would imagine. New Alberta figures show nearly 40 per cent of those dying from an overdose had been prescribed opioids by at least three different doctors in the year before they died.

Many prescription opioid addicts engage in 'doctor shopping' before overdose deaths

Reducing Harm

MacEwan News, February 10, 2017

Petra Schulz, a MacEwan University faculty member, never planned to be a harm reduction advocate. “I too was once a soccer mom,” she told a standing-room-only audience in the Kule Theatre.

In an effort to expand awareness across the university and to create dialogue, Petra proposed a panel discussion, hosted by the Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Health and Community Studies, that brought together experts from a range of backgrounds—health-care providers, community members, educators, academics and people who use drugs—to share their perspectives.

Reducing Harm