Consultations to begin on Calgary's first supervised consumption site

Calgary Herald, June 14, 2017

Petra Schulz was on hand to endorse the announcement on behalf of MSTH and all families who's loved ones could have been saved with timely harm reduction and treatment.

Petra Schulz, who lost her 25-year-old son, Danny, to a fentanyl overdose in 2014, said she’s pleased Calgary is moving in the direction of supervised consumption services. But she added that while the service is “very much needed,” she also wants to see different solutions for drug users outside the downtown.

“We need to bring rapid access to treatment wherever people are . . . so this is great, but we can’t stop here,” she said.

“We need to move out, and not just in the suburban communities, the cities, but there are many rural Albertans that are using drugs and that need help.”

Consultations to begin on Calgary's first supervised consumption site

Conversation over confrontation: Advocate fights fear of addiction centre with cup of coffee

CBC News Calgary, May 9

Rosalind Davis was visiting her parents in Windsor Park when a flyer calling recovering addicts and alcoholics "potentially dangerous" and bad for property values was dropped at their front door.

The wording on the flyer upset Davis and hit close to home. Her partner, Nathan Huggins-Rosenthal, died of a fentanyl overdose.

Conversation over confrontation: Advocate fights fear of addiction centre with cup of coffee

Alberta government creates a commission to tackle opioid deaths

St. Albert Gazette, June 3, 2017

A St. Albert mother who lost her daughter to a drug overdose in 2015 says she is pleased to see a provincial government commission to respond to the opioid crisis. Faye Gray made the comment this week after the Alberta government announced it will set up a commission to help deal with the increasing amount of opioid and fentanyl deaths in the province. “I just want this commission to help the people who are still with us and who might not be with us tomorrow or this afternoon or next week,” Gray said.

Alberta government creates a commission to tackle opioid deaths

B.C. painkiller overdoses spiked 97% to nearly five killed a day in April

Metro News Vancouver, May 31, 2017

“It’s so demoralizing,” admitted Leslie McBain, whose son Jordan, 25, died of an illicit drug overdose three years ago. “And it’s just getting worse.”

British Columbia's painkiller overdose epidemic has reached new grim records Wednesday, after newly released data showed its death toll this year so far is the exact same as it was by the end of September last year.

The public health emergency has so far killed 488 people between January and April this year, according to the B.C. Coroner's Service, with April seeing a staggering 136 deaths, a dramatic 97 per cent increase from April last year.

B.C. painkiller overdoses spiked 97% to nearly five killed a day in April

St. Albert mother shares dangers of fentanyl

St. Albert Gazette, Jun 03, 2017

Faye Gray’s daughter had only been using drugs for six weeks when she died of an overdose. Lindsey Gray was found dead on a mattress in a house in Edmonton from a fatal dose of methamphetamine and fentanyl on Nov. 2, 2015. Faye said that the night that Lindsey died she thinks she unknowingly ingested the fentanyl that was mixed in with the meth. The 32-year-old left behind a four-year-old son.

St. Albert mother shares dangers of fentanyl

Alberta declares opioid public health crisis, announces $30M increase and new panel to address death

Global News Edmonton, May 31, 2017

“The new Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response Commission will guide the province’s continuing work and ensure each action we take will reduce the harms to opioid users, their families, their communities and first responders,” Payne said.

“I’m pleased that the family voice is being included on the commission,” said Petra Schulz, a member of MSTH who was selected to be on the commission.

“My son Danny died of an accidental overdose. I don’t want one more family to suffer such a tragic loss. Today’s announcement gives hope that lives will be saved.”

Alberta declares opioid public health crisis, announces $30M increase and new panel to address death

New commission to guide opioid emergency response

Alberta Health, May 31, 2017

The province has established a dedicated emergency commission to help ramp up Alberta’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis.

“I’m pleased that the family voice is being included on the commission. My son Danny died of an accidental overdose. I don’t want one more family to suffer such a tragic loss. Today’s announcement gives hope that lives will be saved.”

Petra Schulz, Moms Stop The Harm and member, Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response Commission

New commission to guide opioid emergency response

'Our aim ... is to keep people alive': Alberta invests $30M to deal with opioid crisis

CBC News Edmonton, May 31, 2017

The Alberta government is setting up a 14-member commission with a $30-million budget to deal with the skyrocketing numbers of deaths caused by overdoses of fentanyl and other opioids.... people involved in the commission include Petra Schulz, an Edmonton mother whose son died of a fentanyl overdose in 2014, Dr. Esther Tailfeathers, the physician lead for the Aboriginal Health Program with Alberta Health Services, and Marliss Taylor, the registered nurse who is program manager for Streetworks in Edmonton.

'Our aim ... is to keep people alive': Alberta invests $30M to deal with opioid crisis

Alberta families coping with drug deaths begin own grief group

Calgary Herald, May 30, 2017

When MSTH Susyn Wagner lost her son to drugs, she discovered there are limits to the sympathy of others. At the hospital shortly after her son Zackery died, at her workplace, even from other well-intentioned parents who had lost a child, Wagner encountered a subtle form of judgment that left her cold.

“I think people sometimes look at the death differently, that they deserved it because they are doing something that’s harmful,” Wagner says.

Wagner said the experience convinced her of the need for support for families who’ve lost someone to substance abuse or addiction.

So Wagner started her own grief group.

People interested in one of GRASP’s monthly meetings in Calgary should contact calgarygrasp@gmail.com. Edmontonians can join GRASP in that city by contacting grasp.edmonton@gmail.com.

Alberta families coping with drug deaths begin own grief group

Officials call on Alberta to step up overdose response

The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Elaine Hyshka, [MSTH ally] an assistant professor in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health and a member of the Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services in Edmonton (AMSISE) coalition, said she would like to see a stronger response from the province. “We have made some progress, such as scaling up access to naloxone, but that is just one response. We need a co-ordinated effort and, frankly, more resources to support this work,” she said.

Officials call on Alberta to step up overdose response

Alberta should declare fentanyl public health emergency: B.C. advocate

Calgary Sun, May 20, 2017

As fentanyl overdose deaths in Alberta rise, a Vancouver-based advocate says Alberta would do well to follow her province's lead in declaring opioid-related deaths a public health emergency.

On the front lines in B.C.'s battle against their ongoing overdose crisis, Leslie McBain said Alberta's rising numbers of overdose deaths isn't going to slow without decisive action from the provincial government.

"The number of deaths in Alberta is rising," she said. "It's insane and inhumane to not do something about it."

Alberta should declare fentanyl public health emergency: B.C. advocate

'The system failed': addict kept getting prescribed opioids, says grieving mom

CBC News Manitoba, April 18, 2017

A Steinbach mother says her daughter is dead because the health-care system helped fuel her drug addiction. Ward found her daughter, her wrists racked with track marks and without a pulse, on April 4. Ward believes the doctor who had been prescribing Erickson morphine for years is partly to blame for her death.

'The system failed': addict kept getting prescribed opioids, says grieving mom

Overdose crisis: Island man, 33, dies from fentanyl-laced cocaine

Victoria Times Colonist, April 20, 2017

The night before Richard (Ricky) Scott died from an overdose, he was lying on the floor next to his seven-year-old daughter, watching cartoons on television at a Saanich home. It was March 4. “They fell asleep. His ex was on the couch,” said Scott’s mother, Tracy Morettin. “Around 6:30, 7 in the morning, his daughter got up and felt her dad was cold. She put a blanket on him, got a bowl of cereal. When he wouldn’t wake up, she told her mother.” He was dead.

Morettin said her son died from a suspected overdose of fentanyl-laced cocaine that was likely smoked. “Ricky was not an injection drug user,” she said. “He was a great dad and a person who didn’t deserve this.”

Overdose crisis: Island man, 33, dies from fentanyl-laced cocaine

Superheroes of Addiction Medicine

Promise Magazine: Spring/Summer 2017

SUPERHEROES OF THE COMMUNITY

Leslie McBain lost her son, Jordan, to an opioid addiction in 2014. Today, she leads Moms Stop the Harm, a substance use policy change advocacy group that she co-founded. “Harm reduction is our goal,” says McBain, though the group also provides much-needed support to members who have lost family to drug harm.
“We need better treatment in suburbs,” says Jennifer Woodside. In 2014, her son Dylan died of an overdose from oxycodone laced with fentanyl. Woodside recently founded Voice of the Family (VOF), which works with families who have lost children to addiction across Canada, specifically in the western provinces.

Superheroes of Addiction Medicine