RE: Fentanyl epidemic hits home: Tragedy prompts local couple to speak up, Volume 14 Issue 9

I am a parent who has recently lost my son Tyler to a drug tainted by Fentanyl overdose in January 2016. My heart breaks every time I find out another person has tragically died due to overdose. I also understand the desire to grieve privately and then realize we have to speak out to hopefully stop another family from having to experience this trauma.

I want to commend the Sun Peaks Resort management team for taking the initiative to inform employees that the Kamloops area is not immune to this overdose epidemic in North America.

So thank you for renewing your focus on health and wellness, including talking about the deadly trend.

Since my son’s death, I find that I have increased anxiety and can’t help but imagine all the scenarios that a youth or young adult may choose to use and experience tainted drugs. So the social environment of a ski resort is no different than anywhere else in British Columbia. These illicit drugs tested are showing to all be tainted and cut with synthetic opioids like Fentanyl and some that are even stronger.

Teenagers and young adults tend to take more risks than any other groups and it is not uncommon for teens and young adults to feel invincible. That is developmentally the way it is. So it is my hope that friends and parents have conversations about recreational and chronic drug use and find out who has a Naloxone kit ready, or needs to get one. Knowing how to get a kit and use it as quickly as possible can reverse an overdose. But sometimes repeated injections are needed and the dose can wear off in 30 minutes. That is why it is important to call an ambulance and go to the hospital.

Good luck for a fun and safe skiing season coming up and please share and discuss how to handle an overdose. Educate yourselves and look out for one another. It only takes a few minutes for a person’s breathing to stop. Stay safe.

Please educate yourselves, your family and friends. Be open to discussion. Be prepared for sudden overdose in rural areas.

Posted by Sherry
Vaile Robinson

Editor’s Note: The referenced article was one of the most shared in SPIN’s publication history, reaching far beyond Sun Peaks and Kamloops. We commend the Pouliots for sharing their story and can attest to the tens of thousands of people they reached.