FEATURED COMMENT – Drug addiction can happen to anyone’s child

Re: editorial ‘Why drug consumption sites for kids are not so outrageous,’ Nov. 20, 2018

Thank you Mel Rothenburger for paying attention and giving this Opioid Crisis acknowledgement in your column. Our North American society and regional political governments have been neglecting the needs of people with mental health and substance use addictions and underfunding the prevention and recovery supports for decades.

I was once a parent afraid of a Harm Reduction approach to my sons’ substance use when he was a teenager. But at that time, there were fewer support services and he fell through the cracks.

Today, I support the Harm Reduction Support Services effort for youth and young adults because all lives matter and I remember the shame and stigma that my son lived with and myself as well.

There are many youth actively using substances and disconnected from families, schools and support services. So if this Harm Reduction support offers a point of connection with someone wanting to feel safe and supported, then it is worthy of my tax dollars.
The relationships and trust built with the people who connect with young people is valuable to keeping our loved ones alive and when they are ready and willing to assess more services, we can offer them choices for more support.

I wish my adult son was alive today because of improved services beginning to be offered. I wish there had been Naloxone available in that hotel room. I wish that he had a place to go test and use his drugs to ease the obbessive addiction and physical pain of withdrawal. I
wish that he could have felt less shame and pain about what he was going through and had more safe spaces to connect to. I wish that I could have allowed him to stay home if I have recieved community supports in our times of crisis.
I wish that he could have had access to Suboxone at an earlier age rather that repeatedly failing at Detox and leaving because medications could not be administered to assist with the mental health symptoms challenging his abilities to cope. I wish that someone would have noticed that he tragically was overdosing and been able to phone for help and keep him alive.

If only people would stop the shame and stigma and start supporting the efforts to connect and improve wellness outcomes for the people in our families. This could happen to anyone’s child, loved one or friend.


About Mel Rothenburger (8419 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on FEATURED COMMENT – Drug addiction can happen to anyone’s child

  1. Deb Hale Bailey // December 7, 2018 at 12:48 PM // Reply

    Heartbreaking and so accurate

  2. So heart breaking and so many lives still suffering because of the stigma attached to addiction. Thank you for sharing this.

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