As another year draws to a close, once again I am compelled to voice a concern. In B.C., there will be over 1,300 deaths due to drug overdose this year. Emergency personnel will respond to over 6,000 cases of substance overdose. As tragic as these numbers seem, they are only the tip of the drug abuse iceberg.
For every overdose event, how many more are using and getting away with it. One hundred? Two hundred? The numbers are truly frightening.
Meanwhile, government officials at all levels confirm to us that we have an opioid crisis in this country. But nothing ever changes. In our family, we have lost two relatives to drug overdoses on separate occasions in the past two years. One was a young lady 16 years of age; the other, a man 44 years of age. The pain is excruciating for immediate family members.
I cannot but wonder where the federal government is taking this nation by pushing ahead with plans to legalize cannabis.
I hear the arguments. “It’s a harmless drug, it’s fun.”
Perhaps that may be true for the majority of users but it is also true that most overdose victims of hard drugs did not start out using heroin or fentanyl Legalizing the use of a minor drug promotes the use of all drugs. The Canadian Medical Association has warned of the dangers of cannabis use. Police at all levels have stated they cannot be ready in time to ensure public safety. Yet the federal government pushes ahead with legalization plans.
They have said “They will do it right.”
So they have launched a program telling young people not to drive while cannabis impaired.
Many more people will die next year; some from drug overdose, some from highway crashes, some from workplace accidents. And we continue merrily down the slippery slope.