Meaningful action against the Fentanyl Overdose Epidemic
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We the undersigned demand that each & every legal manufacturer of Fentanyl, Carfentanyl & similar drugs (as well as the precursor chemicals used in illicit manufacture) be legally required to contain a physical–chemical identifier (a molecule that can be detected & identify the lab of origin) & be dyed a vivid color allowing it to be easily detectable when mixed with other substances.
As a front line worker in the Greater Vancouver area my colleagues & I have been witness to the devastation the current Fentanyl health crisis continues to cause.
Between Nov. 17 and 23, B.C. paramedics responded to 494 suspected overdose and poisoning calls in Greater Vancouver, including 271 in the Downtown Eastside and 81 in Surrey.
By comparison, in the entire 2015, there were 474 illicit drug overdoses in B.C., which was a 30 per cent increase from 2014.
In April, B.C. declared a public health emergency following a significant increase in drug overdoses.
A public health emergency was declared province-wide earlier this year following an uptick in overdose deaths, many of them linked to drugs laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.
Law enforcement has repeatedly said, they do not know where the Fentanyl is coming from, causing difficulty in intercepting shipments before they make it onto the streets.
The overdoses that are happening in record numbers affect each & every member of society in some way.
- Families losing loved ones.
- 1st responders suffering trauma due to overwork & frustration.
- People with legitimate medical need for opiod medications facing difficulties maintaining their prescription due to tighter controls.
- Taxpayers bearing the burden of increased funding required to respond to the needs of health care systems that are not equipped to deal with this crisis.
- Tax dollars going toward committees & think tanks which are spending time discussing the related issues- time that is costing lives as well as dollars.
Adding a vivid bright color to the fentanyl & precursor chemicals would allow it to be visually obvious when mixed with illicit drugs. A cost effective & harmless move that would have immediate effect.
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