Global News Radio, February 19, 2018
Helen Jennens' two sons died of fatal opioid overdoses. Now, she says their deaths could have been prevented if doctors had simply checked their prescription drug histories. Jennens' is now asking the government to implement a mandatory prescription database check before prescirbing new pain medication.
CBC News BC, February 20, 2018
Niki Hanson is still getting used to the idea her daughter is dead.
"I had a police officer come to my home and tell me," the resident of Prince George, B.C., said. Her 26-year-old, Courtney, had been alone when she fatally overdosed in Vancouver last October, one of more than 1,420 people counted by the B.C. Coroners Service in what the chief coroner called the province's "most tragic year ever".
Hanson has found an outlet for her grief: she's thrown herself into advocacy work, joining the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs [and MSTH], which calls on governments to include past and current drug users in shaping policy around the overdose crisis.
CBC News, Feb. 13, 2018
Dr. Elaine Hyshka, co-chair of Alberta's Opioid Emergency Response Commission, said the numbers prove supervised drug consumption sites can save lives. "They can seem a bit counterintuitive," Hyshka said. "But really the evidence is quite clear that they have strong public health benefits."
The sites can also reduce the impact drug users have on communities, she said. Staff are able to safely dispose of needles and can step in when something goes wrong. "I'm glad to see that work on supervised consumption services is moving forward in Grande Prairie and I think that they certainly do have a potential to reduce opioid poisonings in that community. "They won't end the opioid crisis, but they're an important part of care for people who are using, and they will save lives."
City News Edmonton, Feb. 2, 2018
CityNews caught up with Petra Schulz, the woman who asked the Prime Minister about the opioid epidemic crippling the country. Haweya Fadal explains.
CBC News, January 31, 2018
Jail is not the place to send people with addictions and mental health issues, legal advocate says.
CBC Radio The Sunday Edition, Feb. 4, 2018
"I was unpacking toilet paper and library books when a police officer in a bulletproof vest knocked on my door. I don't remember his face, but I do remember his heavy black boots in contrast to my bare feet. It was a bright, warm day and he asked me to come outside, into the driveway out of earshot of my daughter, then he informed me that my 21-year-old son had died early that morning." Tara McGuire
Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM, Febrary 6, 2018
Louise Cameron, member of MSTH. Louise joins us and the advocacy work she has been doing around addiction, harm reduciton, and reducing the stigma around these important and life-altering issues.
Everything Grande Prairie, February 2, 2018
Moms Stop The Harm (MSTH) is pushing for federal involvement in the opioid crisis.
The group advocates for those impacted by drug use and a few members were able to stop in to speak to the Prime Minister at the Town Hall in Edmonton on Thursday. They asked Justin Trudeau if more could be done for people across the country.
"We need the national support. It is a [national] epidemic that is going on. It is not just my community or my province - it is all across - it is a national level that things are happening. There are way too many people dying on every level. Locally, provincially, nationally, this opioid epidemic is all across our country and we can't ignore that fact," said Tyla Savard, an MSTH member from Grande Prairie.
CBC Edmonton News, February 1, 2018
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will not decriminalize possession of opioids to help fight a national overdose crisis that has killed thousands of Canadians. Trudeau was asked about the issue during a town hall at MacEwan University in Edmonton Thursday by Petra Schulz, who lost her 25-year-old son Danny to a fentanyl overdose in 2014.
"Can you commit to a national strategy and a significant investment that is equal to what was spent on H1N1, for example, on a per-patient, per-person basis?" Schulz asked. "And will you commit to exploring decriminalization as one way to make sure we see substance use as a health issue and not a criminal matter?
Metro Edmonton, January 31, 2018
Edmontonians will line up at MacEwan University Thursday in hopes of face time with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Moms Stop the Harm, a group of parents who have lost children to drug overdoses, plans to have 10-15 members at the town hall to challenge the PM on the opioid crisis.
“It’s very upsetting for us how silent he has been on this issue,” said group member Petra Schulz. “There are thousands of Canadian families like ours that are mourning the loss of a loved one, and the prime minister has not even spoken on the issue in the house.”
Metro Calgary, July 31, 2018
Rosalind Davis, co-founder of the Alberta Foundation for Changing the Face of Addiction (AFCFA), spoke about her late partner's accidental fentanyl overdose at the awareness campaign launch.
“February 17th will mark the two year anniversary of my partner Nathan’s accidental fentanyl poisoning, and it’s impossible not to reflect on what I wish I had known,” Davis said. Nathan Huggins-Rosenthal, 34, became addicted to opioids when he was prescribed painkillers for a back injury.
The shame and stigma they felt was “paralyzing” and “isolating," according to Davis. “If you don’t believe that the opioid epidemic is impacting you, know that you still have the power to save a life by being informed, and offering a safe place for someone to say ‘I’m not okay,’” she said.
Vancouver Sun, January 31, 2018
Vancouver resident Kathy Wagner’s 21-year-old son Tristan Kroeker died from fentanyl poisoning Aug. 23 after using cocaine. Kroeker had left a recovery centre four days earlier but used alone while couch-surfing at a friend’s place.
Wagner, who has become an advocate with Moms Stop The Harm, a group of families pushing for policy change after losing loved ones to drugs, said her son had struggled with addiction since he was 15.
Metro Vancouver, Monday January 29, 2018
British Columbia Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy, with Leslie McBain, whose son died of an overdose in 2014, after the provincial government and the Vancouver Canucks announced a joint campaign to combat stigma around substance abuse, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday January 29, 2018. The public awareness campaign aims to discredit false stereotypes by showing that addiction can affect people from all walks of life and assist those needing help feel safe accessing treatment and support.
630 Ched, The Ryan Jesperson Show, January 17, 2018
Mathew Wong from Streetwork, Ally Blackburn from Spike and Zene and Petra Schulz from MSTH talk about Naloxone training sessions offerend and planned in Edmonton music venues and bars, and the importance of harm reduction and overdose prevention.
Metro Calgary, January 28, 2018
Chase McInnes was one of 43 people who overdosed on either a CTrain or LRT platform last year
MSTH mother Chylo Michael wants all Calgary Transit operators to be able to administer CPR in case of an overdose, and encouraged passengers to lookout for the people on their commute.
“I spent Chase's 21st birthday at the funeral home making arrangements,” Michael said. “If I can spare even one mother the pain, it will help mine.”
CBC Edmonton January 18, 2018.
Alberta Health Services is warning that some of the naloxone kits distributed to Albertans may be missing a key ingredient: the naloxone.
The kits, which were ordered and distributed through a third-party company, may be missing vials of the drug which is used to reverse opioid overdoses.
Four years ago, Petra Schulz lost her 25-year-old son to a fentanyl overdose. After his death, she co-founded Moms Stop the Harm, a national network of mothers working to end the fentanyl crisis.
She was distraught when she heard the health authority's naloxone kits might not contain vials of the life-saving medication.
"I did not believe this was possible," she told CBC News. "It is very scary. I hope nobody died as a result of this."
Global News Edmonton, January 12, 2018
As the country grapples with the opioid crisis, an Alberta man is speaking out after his son overdosed on fentanyl while in segregation at the Drumheller Institution. “He wasn’t safe there. That’s what really bothers me. A lot of people’s children aren’t safe there,” [MSTH] Derek Osterland told Global News.
Focus Magazine, January 4, 2018
Leslie McBain advocates for those struggling with addictions and the families who love them.
One of the most effective groups lobbying all levels of government for action on the opioid crisis is Moms Stop The Harm, formed by three Canadian women who have lost children to a drug overdose. Besides offering support and resources for families affected by addiction, these women and their now 300 members have developed into a highly knowledgeable and professional all-volunteer organization. They have fought for free access to the overdose-reversal drug Naloxone, the implementation of supervised consumption services and needle exchange programs, and accurate health data that is public and shared in a timely manner. Rather than the failed “war on drugs” or “just say no” approach, the organization urges good-quality education as the best protection.
St. Catharines Standards, December 21, 2017
Sandi Walker Tantardini — whose son Scott died of an overdose on Aug. 27, 2016 — called it “mind-blowing” that an officer could be subject to an investigation under the SIU after administering naloxone.
“That’s disgusting — absolutely disgusting,” said Walker Tantardini, who was at Thursday’s police services board meeting to be part of a discussion on Niagara Region’s response to the growing number of deaths related to use of opioids such as fentanyl. She said an exemption is in place in B.C. for officers administering the drug. “I’m wondering how we can get that to happen here.”