Save Our Youth: BC's Laws Failed Danny...Help Us Make A Change

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Addiction and Mental Health can impact anyone.

 

BC’s Laws failed Danny at the age of 17 and continue to fail so many others.  In honor of Danny, we are hoping to spread awareness and request change within our system for Mental Health, Addiction and help to de-stigmatize these issues in our community.  

 

Addiction and Mental Health are highly prevalent, yet criticized issues and therefore, they don’t get the attention needed.  In 2020 overdose deaths surpassed COVID-19 deaths in BC.

 

By providing safe and secure remote long term addiction recovery programs and giving parents the ability to put their child into one of these programs, youth in our community will have a higher chance of getting the proper help and care that they truly deserve.

 

Addiction paired with mental illness is an epidemic; one that impacts our country, province and city.  Over 47,000 substance-related deaths occur each year in Canada, yet we continue to lack sufficient solutions to this growing problem.

 

With hopes to seek positive change for BC, we are requesting that the government considers improving the insufficient rehabilitation system that is currently in place. Following extensive research and having spoken to parents of children, victim to the epidemic, we’d like to introduce a new rehab system proven successful in other countries.  Across the border, the US has children who struggle with addiction in secure rehabilitation schools designed to nurse their youth back to complete health and a stable mind.  Unlike the Canadian system, the Americans require their patients to live only on their remote vicinity, without access to electronics and allow for absolutely no opportunity in which they may find access to recreational drugs.  On the other hand, upon speaking to a parent of an addicted child, we learned the consequences of Canada’s lenient rules as kids may earn ‘day passes;’ a free ticket to roam the city as they please, should they have been ‘good’ that week.  Long-term programs could allow youth to receive help for as long as needed rather than fixed short-term programs where little is accomplished.  Long term programs offer more as they can be tailored to the individual and involve following and finishing a program.  Safe and secure remote rehabilitation schools could also provide youth a chance to be taken away from any and all access to drugs. 

 

Mental illness and addiction often go hand in hand.  A minor cannot be diagnosed with some mental illnesses until they are over the age of 18 as the human brain develops until that point. Youth who are battling a mental illness and struggling with addiction are not able to make constructive decisions to find beneficial help; therefore, voluntary programs are not practical solutions, hence the reason why current opioid related death rate continues to soar.

Laws need to change so that parents and professionals have more say and parents or guardians are able to put their child into a recovery program without requiring double certification or being ordered by a judge.  It is incredibly difficult for youth to be double certified or ordered by a judge, even when this is the case, it’s often to late. 

 

Dedicated to Danny, one youth lost is one too many.