Families of overdose victims join letter-writing campaign

published on November 19, 2017 by Sarah Petrescu in Times Colonist

Leslie McBain gets from one to six emails every day from families of people who have died from drug overdoses.

“They just want to reach out to somebody who gets it,” said McBain, an advocate and Pender Island resident who lost her 25-year-old son Jordan Miller to an overdose in Victoria in 2014.

 “The standard phrase I use in response is, ‘You will survive this,’ because you do. But I feel great sorrow reading those messages,” McBain said.

She’s part of a national letter- writing campaign that will see hundreds of similar messages about overdose victims land on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s desk this week.

“We need to keep this on his radar. This is happening. The latest numbers are appalling. We’re still here, our kids are still dying. This is a generation we’ve lost,” said McBain, while attending a national conference on substance abuse in Calgary this past week. It brought together addiction workers, health-care professionals, researchers, policy makers and others involved with the issue.

McBain is one of the founders of Moms Stop the Harm, an advocacy group for families of overdose victims. It has more than 300 members and received international recognition from governments responding to an opioid crisis that is on track to kill 3,000 Canadians this year. Nearly half of the deaths have been in B.C.

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