Hooked: Opioids taking their toll on Sask. families and communities

Regina Leader Post, July 18, 2018

In her head, Marie Agioritis had already planned her son’s funeral. She knew her boy Kayle Best was [addicted to opioids]. She’d seen him through the lost jobs, the trashed condo, the arrests and the abusive behaviour. His addiction started innocently. Kayle suffered debilitating migraines, up to four or five a month since the age of two. A few months before he graduated from Grade 12, a schoolmate offered him opioids to relieve the pain. Kayle took the pills, followed by more pills. When the phone call came on Jan. 3, 2015, Marie was almost expecting it.

What she wasn’t expecting was the news from her ex-husband that their other son, Kelly, had died from an overdose. Kelly, 19, had taken a pill that turned out to be laced with fentanyl. “It’s the most painful place that you will ever, ever feel,” says Agioritis. For Kayle, the pain was compounded by guilt. The fatal pill came from a person in Kayle’s drug circle, and Kayle was with his brother the night before his death.

Hooked: Opioids taking their toll on Sask. families and communities