Just about everyone in B.C. knows someone who’s affected by the overdose crisis. Since the synthetic-opioid fentanyl arrived in 2013, roughly 5,500 people across the province have died after taking drugs, leaving behind tens of thousands of mourning friends and family members.
Tomorrow (June 8), many of them will gather in Vancouver at Jack Poole Plaza (1055 Canada Place) for a candlelight memorial for their loved ones.
“Moms Stop the Harm members from across Canada will be on hand to discuss actions that would help resolve the current drug crisis,” reads an email from the group. “The HOPE memorial and awareness project, which represents the thousands of Canadians who have died in the opioid crisis, will be on display. The designer, Judith Conway recently travelled to Rome where the Pope came forward to bless the display.”
The event is open to anyone who is interested. Families that have not lost someone but which are struggling with an ongoing addiction issue are encouraged to attend.
Last April, the Straight interviewed Moms Stop the Harm member Louise Cameron at a demonstration marking Vancouver’s 2019 National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis. As she marched with hundreds of people down East Hastings Street, Cameron argued that what’s needed to reduce overdose deaths is a regulated supply of clean drugs distributed under government control.
“There are thousands dying in this country because of unsafe drugs,” she said. “Until we have a modality of care in place where there is access to treatment for people who want it, and no barriers to that, we need to keep people alive. To keep people alive, we need a safe drug supply. No one can recover from death.”
Moms Stop the Harm is asking people who share news of the memorial on social media to use the hashtags #DecrimNow and #SafeSupplyNow.