Recovered addict tells cabinet ministers of losing friends to B.C. drug crisis

published on November 17, 2016 by Peter O'Neil in The Star Phoenix

OTTAWA “” A 25-year-old recovered addict told her sad story here on Thursday to federal cabinet ministers who are forging a national strategy against Canada’s overdose crisis.

Victoria resident Mikaela Mamer was part of Premier Christy Clark’s delegation that is pushing for tougher measures to tackle overdoses killing two British Columbians a day.

She shared the story of how, after years of alcohol and drug abuse starting in a small Saskatchewan town at age 13, she went into treatment at a clinic on Vancouver Island.

Clark’s delegation also included Dr. Evan Wood of the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, and paramedic and advocate Marilyn Oberg. Joining them were Leslie McBain, who lost her only son to an overdose two years ago, and Judy Robertson, whose stepson is an addict in treatment.

Robertson told reporters that Canadians need to realize the danger.

“It’s in all neighbourhoods, it’s in all walks of life,” she said, before looking at reporters and adding: “It could be your child.”

Statistics have repeatedly shown that B.C. has been hit particularly hard by the crisis. New numbers, released on Wednesday, show two deaths a day due to illegal-drug overdoses in British Columbia on average this year “” significantly higher than over the same period in 2015.

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