A funeral home in Aldergrove decided they needed to do something after seeing so many heartbroken families lose loved ones to a drug overdose. The funeral directors have put together an awareness and prevention campaign that does aim to shock people about how deadly drugs are.
In an unusual move, the BC Coroner’s Office has come out against Alternative Funeral and Cremation Service’s awareness campaign, saying scare tactics don’t work, they only further stigmatize drug users.
While it’s true the D.A.R.E. program and Just Say No hasn’t been successful in deterring youth from trying hard drugs, it likely did impact a few kids here and there. And at this point in this fentanyl epidemic — reaching anyone is better than doing nothing. It isn’t costing taxpayers anything.
While B.C. Coroner Lisa LaPointe was quick to criticize a program she hasn’t even seen yet, we didn’t see where she offered an alternative for preventing youth from going down this deadly road. And isn’t an ounce of prevention worth a pound of a cure? Even if it only reaches an ounce of the teenage population?
No work by the health authorities or government has done anything to help stop this horrible crisis. More people are dying of drug overdoses today than ever before.
“The experiences and life situations of people who use drugs, as well as the physiological changes they experience, means they might not be ready or able to engage with the overdose prevention strategies,” said LaPointe.
She said compassion and support are needed now. It’s a new approach both the Coroner and Fraser Health’s Chief Medical Officer have mentioned recently, moving away from treatment as a solution. There is no answer to this epidemic and no end in sight.
But at least Alternative’s is trying something.