Meet The Moms Pushing For A New Approach To Canada’s Opioid Crisis

published on October 25, 2022 by Saira Peesker in Chatelaine

Petra Schulz’s son Danny was in recovery when he bought the pill that ended his life. Danny, who was 25 when he died of an overdose, had been through cycles of detox and relapse several times. Back then, Schulz knew very little about substance use and says she worries she and her husband encouraged him to taper off his methadone too soon.

“We just wanted our old Danny back,” says Schulz, who has become one of the country’s leading harm-reduction advocates. “There was a lot of soul searching after his death.”

That was in 2014. The rate of opioid-related deaths has increased dramatically since, reaching an alarming crisis point over the course of the pandemic: approximately 21 deaths in Canada per day in 2021, up from from 12 in 2018. The jump has been fuelled by pandemic-related isolation, causing more drug users to use alone, and a tainted drug supply that’s seen potent opiates such as fentanyl make their way into an increasing number of substances…

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