Tuesday, Aug. 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day — a day on which the BC Coroners Service released data that shows the province and Kamloops are on pace for a record number of overdose deaths this year.
The introduction of fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent — to the drug supply has led to a sharp increase in overdose deaths since 2016, when the provincial government declared a public health emergency.
Last year, B.C. (1,728) and Kamloops (60) both recorded the most overdose deaths ever.
Groups like Moms Stop the Harm continue to do what they can to reverse the tragic trend, including this 2017 appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do more to stop the harm.
To mark International Overdose Awareness Day, Moms Stop the Harm will be taking part in an online candlelight vigil of remembrance, which can be viewed by clicking here. In Kamloops, the public is invited to take in the vigil on a big screen in McDonald Park in North Kamloops from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.