Where were all of the local elected officials?
That was one of the biggest questions at Thursday night’s event entitled Drug Education: Fentanyl and the Effects on the Oceanside Community, held at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. The event was put together by School District 69 (Qualicum), the District 69 Parents’ Advisory Committee, the Oceanside RCMP, Discovery Youth and Family Substance Use Services and Dr. Hugh Fletcher.
During a question-and-answer period, Fletcher, who represents physicians in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area, asked the audience if anyone there was from the Parksville or Qualicum Beach councils or if anyone was running for office as an MLA in the next election.
When no one raised their hand, Fletcher said, “I think that probably answers my question.”
“It would be nice if everyone here wrote their incumbent MLA, and their future MLA and their councils and mayors and ask why they weren’t here,” Fletcher said.
More than 100 people, from as young as 12 years old, attended the two-hour information session that touched on topics such as bringing awareness, the rise in fentanyl-detected deaths since 2013, and what the public can do to help.
Opioids are medicines generally used to manage pain, which can be prescribed by a doctor, but those can be just as dangerous as using illicit drugs. Examples of opioids include oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl and codeine.
Two other speakers at the event included Michelle Jansen and her son Nick, 19, who is in recovery after being addicted to fentanyl.