Increase awareness of fentanyl overdoses before more people die.

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Fentanyl overdoses are becoming more common, and many people are losing their lives as a result of ignorance.  Lack of education and awareness about fentanyl's harmful and deadly effects are to blame.  There are two main groups of people affected by fentanyl.  Drug addicts are at risk because they get their drugs from any source possible and depending on how these drugs are made, they can be laced with fentanyl.  It gives them a better high than just heroin.  Others, such as teen angers at a party, who decide to try a drug are also victims as they take it thinking it is one drug and often don't even realize it is laced with fentanyl.  The problem these people face is that it makes them go to sleep and they are unable to wake from it, causing an overdose.  Sarah Blyth, in Vancouver, founded a group named The Overdose Prevention Society.  There are 300 members and they have CPR training and carry first aid supplies, including a drug called naloxone.  Naloxone is an injection given into the muscle and reverses the effects of fentanyl long enough to get the victim to the hospital for treatment.  It really is a life-saving drug, and does not have an addictive nature so it is safe.  

 

There is still a lot that needs to be done to bring more awareness about fentanyl overdose to all communities.  It cannot just be done by volunteers.  The government needs to step in and help bring this information to the general public.  I think High Schools would be a good place to start.  Seminars could be held in the schools, and health professionals could lead discussions and share cases with these young adults.  Right now, naloxone is available for drug addicts, and previous addicts to carry with them in case it is needed.  The government needs to make it available to everyone so that if they encounter and overdose situation, they could give the naloxone and save a life.  Since The Overdose Prevention Society was formed in September 2016, the number of fentanyl overdoses in Vancouver, has decreased.  If my petition does not win, the awareness of this epidemic will take so much longer to get out to society and so many more lives will be lost unnecessarily.  But if my petition wins, the awareness of what happens when you take fentanyl will be widely spread encouraging people to be so much more cautious when taking this horrible drug!



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