ANKORS commemorated those who died due to drug poisoning at International Overdose Awareness Day on Sept. 1, 2020. Photo: Tyler Harper

ANKORS commemorated those who died due to drug poisoning at International Overdose Awareness Day on Sept. 1, 2020. Photo: Tyler Harper

Trail, Rossland advocates commemorate lives lost to opioid crisis

Wednesday marks five years since B.C. declared the opioid crisis a provincial health emergency.

Commemorative events will be held in Trail and Rossland on Wednesday, marking five years since B.C. declared the opioid crisis a provincial health emergency.

Advocates with the Rural Empowered Drug Users Network (REDUN) and Moms Stop the Harm will be near the Victoria Street Bridge in downtown Trail on April 14 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Then from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. they’ll be outside the temporary city hall in Rossland, located at 2196 Leroi Ave. In both cities, symbols of the 150-plus people who die in B.C. each month will be presented.

“The stigma around drug use means people do not reach out for help, for fear of being arrested, or losing their jobs, homes or families,” said Lisa Kavaloff, Trail REDUN coordinator. “REDUN has been working to reduce stigma around drug use by doing community clean ups of drug paraphernalia.”

Only one, part-time program exists in Trail and Rossland, an opioid replacement therapy clinic, where substance users are provided prescription drugs to help them stop using street drugs. Counselling, medical and social support is also available at the site.

“COVID-19 has made the crisis worse,” says Tammy McLean, Family Nurse Practitioner/Addiction Medicine and Moms Stop the Harm member. “The street drug supply is becoming increasingly toxic resulting in an increase in deaths due to poisoning. People are using alone inside their homes, with no support.”

The latest statistics from Interior Health show 48 overdose fatalities within its region in the first two months of 2021.

Five of those occurred in the Kootenay Boundary in January.

Since the declaration on April 14, 2016, more than 7,000 people have died of overdose in B.C. – around five people each day.

The year 2020 recorded 1,716 overdose deaths, the highest number of deaths in one year since 2016.

In 2020 there was a 75 per cent jump in annual overdose deaths over the previous year, and 80 per cent of deaths occurred inside private residences and other facilities.

The City of Rossland, along with 40 other communities in Canada, recently passed a resolution presented by Moms Stop the Harm, urging the federal government to support municipalities by declaring the opioid crisis a national public heath emergency, with additional resources and focus the crisis requires.

REDUN and Moms Stop the Harm members are planning to soon present the resolution to Trail city council.

Read more: Who is REDUN?

Read more: Trail Christmas tree reflects lives lost to overdose

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of Trailopioid crisisRossland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read