Honouring the Memory of Overdose Victims
On December 15th, 13 people died of drug overdoses across our province with eight confirmed deaths on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The latest government strategy of banning pill presses has done nothing to curb the steadily growing death toll in BC.
Members of the recovery community gathered on Saturday at the Vancouver Art Gallery to hold a Candlelight Vigil to honour those who have lost their lives in the overdose epidemic.
TWC Alumni and first responder Clive Derbyshire was asked to speak at the podium and delivered a heartfelt message about the tragedies he has witnessed. The mood was solemn as those in attendance held candles and bowed their heads as a show of respect for those who have lost their lives too soon.
The province has fallen short on its promise to create 500 new treatment beds by the end of 2016. Individuals who seek treatment and change are met with long wait-lists and countless barriers on the road to accessing crucial services and resources. Substitution therapy using prescription opiates such as methadone and suboxone are clearly not an effective solution as the number of fatal overdoses grows.
Gregor Robertson, the Mayor of Vancouver, as well as Vancouver Chief of Police Adam Palmer have announced the drastic need for more treatment beds. Recently reported overdose statistics from the month of November put the death toll from illicit drugs in BC at 128.
“Right now there’s a huge gap in the system and it’s failing those people who put up their hand and ask to get clean.”
– Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer