Petition to the House of Commons to address the Opioid Crisis by;
- Declaring the current opioid overdose and fentanyl poisoning crisis a National Public Health Emergency
- Reforming current drug policy to decriminalize personal possession, and
- Creating a system to provide safe unadulterated access to substances to reduce imminent risk of overdose due to a contaminated source.
Over 4000 Canadians died in 2017 and over 2,800 in 2016 due to preventable opioid overdose resulting from fentanyl-poisoned sources. The number of preventable deaths has surpassed the total number of deaths of all other Public Health Emergencies in the last 20 years including SARS, H1N1, and Ebola. Those who have died as a result of a preventable opioid overdose from fentanyl-poisoned sources were valued citizens of this country; our children, siblings, spouses, parents, family members, neighbours, friends.
Substance use is a normal part of human experience; documented across centuries and all over the world. The current war on drugs has been costly and grossly ineffective and resulted in widespread stigma towards addiction and against those who use illicit drugs. Criminalization of particular substances has resulted in the establishment of a drug trade that now traffics dangerous and lethal products, such as fentanyl. Regulating to ensure safe sources, with proper measures and bylaws, will reduce the criminal element associated with street drugs. Problematic substance use is a health issue and is not resolved through criminalizing personal possession and consumption. Decriminalization of personal possession is associated with dramatically reducing overdose deaths in the countries that have modernized their drug policy.
This petition was created by John and Jennifer Hedican and Shanyn Simcoe of Courtenay, BC and is sponsored by Gord Johns, Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni. John and Jennifer lost their son, Ryan Hedican, to fentanyl poisoning April 24, 2017. They have since shared their story widely in an effort to destigmatize and raise awareness about substance use. Shanyn Simcoe is registered nurse and activist promoting the health of systemically marginalized populations through political action
Please share widely and contact me directly for background, with any questions or suggestions to facilitate support and dissemination.
Shanyn Simcoe, BSN, RN