EDITORIAL – Sad fact is that the answer to opioid crisis continues to elude us

IHA’s Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi addresses City council Tuesday. (Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

FRUSTRATION WITH what seems like the losing battle against opioid addiction was obvious Tuesday when Interior Health representatives talked to Kamloops City council.

Councillors aren’t drug-addiction experts and can’t be expected to have the answers, but it’s clear Interior Health hasn’t found them yet, either. Forty-eight people died in Kamloops of overdoses last year.

Mayor Ken Christian suggested that if the discussion was about someone dying in a swimming pool, on a hockey rink or in a crosswalk, “we would be all over it.”

The big difference is that swimming pools can be staffed with more life guards, hockey equipment can be improved, and crosswalks can be made safer with warning lights. Drug overdoses are a far more complicated challenge.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7764 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.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Sad fact is that the answer to opioid crisis continues to elude us

  1. Why is it the nation in the world with the stated (largely failed) mission of the war on drugs seems to create within its borders the biggest demand for drugs? Is it because the dream of constant progress for the vaunted middle class is a chimera, and because hope and trust have evaporated for so many? I was once a drug addict, hooked on smoking and alcohol. There but for the grace of God go I – that I did not treat my pain with white powder or pills. It is all the same, and we need to look deep in our society, at our social bonds and our collective delusions to find explanations.

  2. Bill Wrangham // April 10, 2019 at 8:15 AM // Reply

    Most people are aware of the risks of drug-taking but they still do it – why? Could it be that life is so intolerable that they need to ‘escape’? Death or other harm is preferable to coping with life as it is. Society needs to change, or safer forms of temporary euphoria made available – reality is too cruel. A little kindness for those less fortunate cannot hurt.

  3. By and large, drug use be it by addicts, construction workers or professionals is the symptom, the expression if you will, of the deep seated unhappiness our society breeds by the tonne daily. Why would we want, or expect the Health Authorities have an answer?

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