New approach needed for opioid crisis
Re: “B.C. to ramp up effort to end OD crisis,” Nov. 10.
If whatever you are doing isn’t working, do something different. Unfortunately, what we tend to do is “try harder.” Of course, nothing changes.
I don’t understand why the decisionmakers do not seem to grasp the “upstream/downstream” analogy that demonstrates how we tend to create firstrate “Band-Aid services” downstream, but do not give priority to dealing with the causes in the first place. Much research has been reported recently in this paper that addresses how we must change our mindsets in order to make a difference.
More injection sites (where there have been no reported deaths) sound good, but if they solved the problem, I don’t think the number of deaths would continue to rise exponentially. Undoubtedly, several users of these sites are dying away from the sites.
If more than 50 per cent of the deaths are happening indoors, how are we targeting this group? The prescription of opiates for pain killers needs much more attention. Recent research concludes that “off the shelf” painkillers are as effective or more than most opiates.
Programs such as the new one at Our Place and the Woodwynn Farm are a step in the right direction for those with long-term histories of addiction and mental-health issues.
We need to help these people create healthy alternatives to the addiction lifestyle, and there are many wellresearched methodologies that would ultimately create the long-term changes everyone is looking for.
Ron O’Brien Retired addiction counsellor Sooke