Calgarians participate in National Day of Action on overdose crisis
About 40 Calgarians participated in a National Day of Action on the overdose crisis.
This was one of several rallies held across Canada on Tuesday that called on all levels of government to do more to reduce the number of overdose deaths.
The group was calling on the government for more funding, more safe injection sites and more availability of Naloxone which is the antidote for Fentanyl.
Hillary Chapple was among those participating because she lost a great-niece to a Fentanyl overdose.
She died while on a Greyhound bus to B.C.
Chapple says she carries a Naloxone kit with her in case she encounters someone who needs it.
"I think safe injection sites are the key when they are monitored, we need more support out there for mental health, homelessness, we need a ton of support,” she says. “I work with the homeless, I was homeless myself, we need to cut the stigma, not be judgmental, because I guarantee you, everything is based on trauma."
Alberta doesn’t have any safe injection sites now but the province is researching the issue.
John Tabler, a former Fentanyl addict, agrees it’s time for safe injection sites.
“In Alberta, a lot of the cities are throwing people in jail, look them up. There’s no treatment. I believe a safe injection site in this city would be amazing.”
In 2016, 343 Albertans died of overdoses related to Fentanyl that compares to 257 deaths in 2015.
Calgary police chief Roger Chaffin supports setting up a safe injection site in our city and Mayor Naheed Nenshi has offered Calgary up to Ottawa as a “test bed” for new treatments.
(With files from Shaun Frenette)